Located in West Los Angeles’ own Little Osaka, Japanese fashion and French desserts collide at The Buttercup LA.
Located inside Happy Six, a women’s clothing and accessory store at the Sawtelle Center, The Buttercup LA carries authentic French macarons. The shop opened for business on Oct. 5 to an existing clientele.
Those looking for Hello Kitty and Tokidoki merchandise will now have the added bonus of a macaron shop in the boutique’s corner. For unfamiliar palates, macarons consist of two delicate almond meringue cookies with a creamy ganache center.
Brightly colored macarons and handbags line the window of this fusion shop. A large display case filled with macaron boxes greets customers as they enter the store, with a cash register being the only divider between the two shops.
In contrast to other shops that display their macarons all lined up in a row, the macarons are presented in pre-packaged small boxes with two different flavors for $4. The square boxes come in different colors with contrasting ribbons tied on top. This added touch makes the dessert special whether it is being given as a gift or as a treat for oneself. The macarons are visible through a round film on the front of the box.
Flavors include chocolate mint, blueberry lavender, pistachio, coconut, lemon-lime, vanilla bean and even seasonal flavors like pumpkin. The dessert is crisp on the outside with chewy meringue on the inside. The shop’s most popular flavor combination is coffee and salted caramel.
While the salted caramel macaron lacked saltiness, it had a sublime caramel flavor. The coffee macaron did not have a strong coffee taste, which some may find more desirable due to its light, airy texture.
The decor of The Buttercup LA takes a simple but elegant approach with the logo and its pastel colored stripes. While the philosophy of the shop demonstrates that less is more, the shop still needs some added touches as it is evident that it recently opened. The main wall is plain white with no decoration and there is no sign out front that would notify passersby of its existence. If the two shops are to cohabitate, both should be given equal attention.
And while $4 seems about average, the macarons are somewhat pricier than macarons at other dessert shops because of the packaging and high quality ingredients. The macarons are produced off-site, so they cannot be sold individually. This can be a deterrent to some, however the quality overshadows any reservations.
Because macarons are fun and colorful just like the products in the store, Happy Six’s owner Sophie Snow said she thought the partnership made sense. It helped that her co-owner, and founder of The Buttercup LA, is her sister-in-law.
Mim Lundgren opened The Buttercup LA with her husband of seven years, Henry Chea. Lundgren, originally from Sweden, moved to the U.S. shortly after getting married and fell in love all over again the minute she tried a macaron.
Lundgren, a home baker specializing in Swedish cookies and cakes, decided to leave the macarons to the professionals and sought help from her friend Meghan Cherny, executive pastry chef of Lutece macarons. Unlike other macarons that contain artificial colors and flavor boosters, Lutece macarons are handmade, gluten-free and use all natural, organic ingredients. Lundgren saw the opportunity to make her macaron shop a storefront for Lutece and realize her dream of opening her own business.
Lundgren keeps in touch with what her customers want through the shop’s Facebook, Twitter and website. People can suggest new flavors or change existing flavor combinations. Customers can even email their orders with the option to personalize the box, ribbon color and macaron flavor for pick up the next day.
Just like the macarons they sell, The Buttercup LA is vibrant, sweet and packs a punch despite its small package.
““ Maria Simpson
Email Simpson at [email protected].