French Corner
Photo courtesy of Alexandra Long

We live in an on-demand world. Media, food, blended coffee drinks. We go into restaurants with the assumption that our favorite items will always be there when we want them. But the "I want it now!" culture doesn't always ensure we'll get the best quality. At French Corner 101 (1200 N. Coast Hwy. 101), you get exquisite light bites made every day by the most charming French lady, Alexandra Long. You won't always get the same thing every day. That's part of the magic and adventure of this tiny Leucadia shop.

Making the drive up the coast to visit French Corner is worth it not only for the paninis and crepes, filled with house-made apricot preserves (or whatever is in season) but also for the wonderful baked goods Ms. Long creates. One fortuitous afternoon, I ate probably the best chocolate chip cookie Iíve ever had at her shop (sorry, Mom), and I have yet to get it again. Each time I visit I find oatmeal cookies, light-as-a-cloud meringues or perfect madeleines. But the lure of the chocolate chip cookie keeps me returning—along with an incredible mushroom tart with the most buttery crust, and perfect macarons that make trendy L.A. bakery versions taste like paste.

I don't mind that I don't always find what I'm looking for, because it forces me to explore the latest creations the French Corner team has whipped up. They know what looks best at the market and what the most delicious thing is that they can create that day. Everything is sublime here, so not getting exactly what you want, when you want it, is a lesson in learning to trust the experts. This isn't Burger King, and we're all better off for it.


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