There is little that spurs Angelenos into action on a rainy day—except for, it seems, Cronuts. The original Cronut, a croissant-donut mash-up created in New York City by famed pastry chef Dominique Ansel, popped up for a few hours this past Saturday at Barneys New York at The Grove, where the chef personally handed out his honey and lavender variation until they ran out (the last customer was served at 12:30, despite a scheduled end time of 2pm). Sold for $5 each, the proceeds went towards Heart of Los Angeles, an organization providing educational programs for underserved youth. Chef Ansel, who started his day at midnight prepping for the event, beamed as he shook hands and posed for pictures with customers. "This is more than I imagined," he said, before being pulled away to sign an autograph.
How dedicated were those who showed up to sample a hybrid between two retro desserts? The first to get in line plunked down a chair at 2am (We know. That was our reaction, too). The second drove his family up from San Diego solely for the Cronut.
Judy Kim, a native New Yorker, arrived at 8am. "I've tried knock-offs at Semi Sweet Bakery in Downtown and DK Donuts in Santa Monica," she said. "Part of why I came is the craze; New York is kind of crazy."
Jessica, a West LA resident, had never tried a Cronut—real or faux—but stood for almost four hours in line. "I've never waited so long for one thing," she said, then pointed to her two friends. "They made me come. We've been putting on makeup and dancing to music to entertain ourselves. We're really hungry."
West Hollywood siblings Alex, Natasha, and Nick came out of Barneys clutching their yellow pastry boxes, exhausted. When asked if he was planning to devour it immediately, Alex shook his head. "I'm going to open this at home," he said. "I need to get it on tape and everything."