Those perusing The Buttercup LA’s Yelp page might think that the hyperbolic comments, which range from “OMG! These are the BEST macarons I’ve EVER HAD in my ENTIRE life!!!!” to “They are so good I can’t explain it,” are the product of overly excited teenage girls.
But those who have had the pleasure of tasting The Buttercup LA’s macarons will confirm that these comments are actually not exaggerations — the store’s macarons really are that good.
Though world-famous cafes in Europe have sold macarons for years (such as Gerbaud in Budapest and the O.G. of macaron perfection: Ladurée in Paris), macaron mania has only taken Los Angeles recently.
For those who have yet to experience the delight that comes with eating one of these delicate, colorful treats, a macaron (sometimes incorrectly spelled “macaroon,” though macarons are nothing like those cakey cookies) is a small French cookie composed of a dollop of ganache sandwiched between two almond meringues, infused with flavors ranging from plain chocolate or vanilla to exotic options such as rose or passion fruit.
The Buttercup LA is one of the hottest new “it” macaroon shops. Located beside a Pinkberry and a slew of other dessert shops on Olympic Boulevard, The Buttercup LA is presided over by Mim Lundgren.
Lundgren, who recently emigrated from Sweden, possesses an almost ethereal beauty, the kind usually reserved for Hans Christian Andersen’s story or the cast of Game of Thrones. Fittingly, The Buttercup LA macarons taste like something almost out of a fairytale.
“I basically am a macaron-aholic. I love macarons. I always said if I was going to open my own place, it had to be, like, surrounded by desserts,” Lundgren said. “So yeah, it had to be macarons.”
Lundgren’s passion for macarons was born three years ago when she tasted her first macaron.
“I think the reason that it kind of clicked with me is that it reminded me of a Swedish Christmas candy we make every year,” Lundgren said. “All of a sudden, I went from thinking that macarons were kind of overhyped and overpriced to thinking, ‘They were ever so justified.’ I don’t think I’ve gone a week without eating a macaron since.”
The Buttercup LA makes it easy for anyone who shares Lundgren’s love to indulge in their favorite sweet. Organized into pre-sorted boxes of two, six, 12 or 24 (sorry, folks, no mixing and matching), each flavor, it seems, is more enticing than the last.
For fruit lovers, there’s a box with coconut, lemon, orange blossom, passion fruit and raspberry. The best-selling package, however, features two of the Earl Grey tea, the pistachio and the sea-salt caramel varieties. This way, patrons have the option of sharing them with their friends to spread the gospel of macarons — the petite, pastel boxes make beautiful gifts. Or, if you’re feeling self-indulgent, why not treat yourself?
The only drawback when it comes to The Buttercup LA is that it is expensive — The store sells macarons at $2 apiece. Still, though it might seem that paying more than 50 cents for something essentially the size of an Oreo is not much bang for the buck, macarons are far more filling than they appear to be. In fact, eating more than two or three of them might actually be an unpleasant sugar overload.
Why choose the macarons at The Buttercup LA over those from ultra-cool Bottega Louie or ’lette? Because the macarons are just all-around superior. They are substantial without being heavy, they’re thick without being too chewy and their flavor is strong but not overwhelming. Also, Lundgren could not make the store a more welcoming place.
Lundgren’s last bit of advice for macaron lovers?
“Never settle for anything less than perfection.”
And those who check out The Buttercup LA will never have to.