Le Pain du Jour, Pico and Lincoln's hidden treasure of a French bakery, spent years quietly rising in the early hours to prepare specialty breads and baguettes for Westside restaurants like Chaya and Sunset. Now a new pastry chef, Daniel Tarakchian, has come on board and the restaurant is swinging its doors wide open for daily cafe breakfasts of forceful coffee with magnificent croissants and a gorgeous display of different tarts. Tarakchian is the owner of Le Petit France in Arcadia and has Le Pain du Jour excited for his holiday pastries, which Tarakchian tells us will span the globe of celebratory treats, including holiday desserts from Thailand, Scandinavia, and even turkey-shaped cream puffs and bouche de noel. Possibly the best part of Le Pain du Jour's new hire is that it's taking longer for the pastry supply to run out in the morning, good news for the small legion of surfers, cab drivers, and commuters who start pounding on their doors at 6:30 a.m. for famous "three-season" bread and chocolate-coconut croissants. Le Pain du Jour, 828 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90405; (310) 399-4870.
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