MonkeyDish, Clean Plate Awards
by Bob Okura
Fresh Grapefruit "Jelly"
Extremely common throughout Japan, but definitely taken as a serious art form, these gelatin treats are amazing. Depending upon the time of year, you can find these "jellies" made with everything from coffee, beer and red wine, to yuzu, white peaches and persimmons. My favorite at this placeand probably because I expected it to be terribleis the grapefruit jelly. The kitchen begins by using perfectly ripe fruits in season, so it's like biting into the best grapefruit that you've ever had without the peel, pith, seeds and so on. Combine this with the cool, clear, clean, melt-in-your-mouth gelatin that is only slightly sweetened...the pieces of grapefruit seem to glide across your palate for an indescribable and sensual experience.
February 26, 2010
LA Weekly, 99 Things to Eat in L.A. Before You Die
by Jonathan Gold
Airy, eggy, stuffed to order with blackish, sesame-flavored whipped cream, the puffs at Pâtisserie Chantilly are drizzled with mesquite honey and sprinkled with sweet, caramelized soy powder. Cream puffs like these may be fairly common in the tonier quarters of Tokyo, where South Bay local Keiko Nojima studied her art, but there is nothing in Los Angeles remotely like the exquisite creations she serves at this Japanese-French bakery tucked into a Lomita strip mall. Even if you're not a fan of the genre far too many Japanese baked goods are squishy, gummy things that look a lot better than they taste Nojima's cream puffs, even the ones that don't happen to be flavored with sesame, take full command.
September 24, 2008
The District Weekly, Puff Piece
by Miles Clements
Most of Pâtisserie Chantilly's pastries are a matter of memory, classic concoctions of culinary history so baked into our collective consciousness they've become monuments to the French tradition. Some were born between the walls of stately palaces; others received simpler, less immaculate conceptions hundreds of years ago. But centuries-old recipes aren't all Chantilly is interested inthe place is just as much Japanese as it is French, a thoroughly modern mix that still pays homage to its history. read entire article >
March 1, 2006
Los Angeles Times, Symphony in Black
by Betty Hallock
Black sesame seeds -- earthy and nutty, distinctively bitter, with a smoky, peppery flavor -- are appearing in tuiles and "macaroons," ice creams and eclairs, cakes and panna cottas and doughnuts.
And this is no mere trendy garnish. "It's a staple," says Johnny Iuzzini, pastry chef at Jean Georges in New York. "It isn't overly sweet or cloying so it helps maintain the integrity of other ingredients in a dessert."
Iuzzini uses black sesame seeds in the ganache for his chocolates. Other New York and Los Angeles chefs are using them in ice cream and crème brulee; at the new Pâtisserie Chantilly in Lomita, Keiko Nojima is featuring them in cream puffs and atop white sesame blancmange, a cooked pudding. read entire article >
December 8, 2005
LA Weekly, Counter Intelligence - Power Puff
by Jonathan Gold
My favorite alternative Japanese cream puffs are at Chantilly down in Lomita, a gorgeous Japanese bakery that resembles a high-class Tokyo tearoom. Keiko Nojima, the chef, a local South Bay girl, followed a course of study at the California Culinary Academy with a long apprenticeship in Japan, and her delicate concoctions — majestic cheesecake pyramids flavored with fresh orange peel, sesame blancmange with caramel, tiny chestnut-mousse montblancs, green-tea cakes — are marriages of Japanese flavors and Parisian structures, as beautiful as Ken Price ceramics. read entire article >