If you and your clan have recently popped by The Grove, you’ve most likely witnessed the never-ending line of foodies clamoring to get into not one, but two, of LA’s newest hot spot eateries. Renowned Chef Dominque Ansel’s first and only West Coast locations, 189 by Dominique Ansel and the Dominique Ansel Bakery have been all the buzz, but is it worth the wait in the loooong line? We did it, and we’ve got the scoop.

photo: Jennifer O’Brien

189 by Dominique Ansel

With a breathtaking second-story space overlooking The Grove fountains, 189 by Dominique Ansel is bound to become a no-brainer spot for parents on those much-needed date nights.

It’s the restaurant’s “Weekend Table Brunch” that is the real star when dining with kiddos in tow. To showcase their incredible variety of dishes and encourage a more communal and interactive dining experience, servers place a variety of seasonal dishes on a serving platter in the center of the table for diners to choose from. Guests simply add the dishes they’d like to try as they dine. Emoji-laden cards are stamped by the servers to mark them as ordered. Though the menu changes each season, tots will go ga-ga for mouthwatering menu items like Double Butter Pancakes, DIY Lobster Rolls and Crunchy Over Crispy Fried Chicken. With such a wide variety of foods to choose from, this brunch is the perfect opportunity to expand your little ones’ palettes way beyond the usual fare. Just be sure to make reservations.

photo: Jakob Layman for 189 by Dominique Ansel

Dominique Ansel Bakery

Located downstairs from 189, the Dominique Ansel Bakery is a must-visit and not a bad consolation prize if you can’t get in upstairs.

This bright and cheery bakery gives food lovers (both big and small) ample opportunity to indulge in their sweet tooth (or two) on the very items that made Ansel so famous—Cronuts®, Cookie Shots, Frozen S’mores and the DKA (Dominique Kouign Amann). But don’t think that’s all. Ansel keeps things interesting with an ever-evolving menu that includes several treats made exclusively for Los Angeles, including the California Roll—a soft olive oil biscuit with avocado mousse, vanilla lime mousse, and honey gelee; and the Avocado Ice Cream Sandwich—avocado olive oil ice cream, ricotta mascarpone ice cream and buttery shortbread topped with dragon fruit, freeze dried raspberries, olive oil, and sea salt. It’s open-seating only here, folks, so brace yourselves for a wait.

photo: Jakob Layman for Dominique Ansel Bakery

A Sweet Strategy for Getting In

With the holidays quickly approaching and the popularity of both eateries surely to skyrocket, you’ll definitely need to plan in advance. Make a reservation for a table at 189 through the Resy app or by calling the restaurant directly.

As for the bakery, since it doesn’t take reservations, the old saying is true: The early bird gets the Cronut®. So if you’re bringing your hungry flock, we recommend lining up before the bakery opens at 9 a.m. It’ll maintain your sanity and avoid meltdowns (both yours and theirs). Our conclusion? They are definitely worth the wait.

photo: Jakob Layman for Dominique Ansel Bakery

189 by Dominque Ansel
189 The Grove Drive, 2nd Floor
323-602-0096
Online: dominiqueansella.com

Dominique Ansel Bakery
189 The Grove Drive, 1st Floor
323-601-1167
Online: dominiqueansella.com

If you have a chance to visit either restaurant, we’d love to hear what dishes or treats your kids liked most! Give us a shout in the comments below or better yet, share your pics on our Instagram page!

–Jennifer O’Brien

 

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