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DTLA’s Incredible Chapulín Croissant Tops The City’s Best French Pastry With Chopped Grasshoppers and Chile

12:56 PM PDT on July 6, 2022

Let’s all take a moment to admire what exactly LA Cha Cha Chá’s’ chapulín de croissant really is: A precious French pastry, par-baked by Bakers Kneaded (a Mexican-American owned panadería) and optimized by a Watts-raised, Salvadoran chef, who generously tops it with dried chiles and chopped chapulines, before selling it for brunch in the Arts District.     

This is the world we want to live in. 

Have you ever bitten into a croissant that was dusted with so much crushed chile and citric acid-like seasoning, that was filled with so much requesón and goat cheese, that it demanded a caballito (shot) of mezcal to wash it down? This is the croissant of our dreams that is currently on the weekend only-brunch menu at La Cha Cha Cha. 

The croissant is a serendipitous product of a couple of Patina alumni: chef Paco Moran and baker Carlos Enriquez, who both grew up in L.A. barrios and honed their skills in classic French techniques while working around the empire of Joachim Splichal. It defies “stunt food” or fusion labels because the origins are intentional and it’s made by people who grew up with these flavors and form, plus it is absolutely delicious. In fact, it’s the best croissant this newsroom has tasted in both Mexico and the U.S (and fuck it, Paris too). 

Photos by Memo Torres for L.A. TACO.
Photos by Memo Torres for L.A. TACO.

Moran tells L.A. TACO that the idea came to him after going to Mexico City on a work trip and enjoying the street-level entomophagy that you see there. Aside from grasshoppers, if you are lucky enough to be there during the season, there are chicatanas (beef cutter ants) and escamoles (ant eggs). In L.A. Moran is going with what his easier to source here, which are grasshoppers mostly thanks to OaxaCalifornia’s underground trade network.   

His ode to that in Los Ángeles? Chop up some grasshoppers and sprinkle them on the #1 baked object of desire for influencers and brunchers to shoot, and ostensibly to eat, on their lazy weekend mornings. 

L.A. TACO invited him over to our office where Memo Torres, our Director of Partnerships, and myself, tasted the Mexican-Central-American-French masterpiece. Watch it below to see quite possibly the world’s first croissant and mezcal pairing! If you like our videos, please comment, like, share, and subscribe to let us know you all want us to keep them coming!

Shout out to L.A. TACO’s co-founder and Deputy Editor Hadley Tomicki for finding this gem, and our “Juan-of-All-Trades” Memo Torres who produced and edited this video. 

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