The first Le Pain Quotidien (French for daily bread) opened in 1990 in Brussels, Belgium and has since expanded to 10 other countries, including France, Switzerland, Qatar and Dubai. In 1997, the first store opened in the United States in New York City, and the newest addition to the LPQ family opened in October on Larchmont Boulevard, bringing the total to 12 locations in SoCal.

As you might gather, bread is the staple food of LPQ and comes from recipes perfected by its founder, Alain Coumont. Not only is the bread, uh, pain homemade, it’s completely organic, as is around 90 percent of the total menu.

Their specialties are breads and baked goods, natch, but there are a wide variety of food items throughout the day. For breakfast, you could order the organic omega-3 berry boost oatmeal with organic soy milk, flax seed oil and flax seeds. For lunch, you could order anything from the tofu curry salad to Quiche Lorraine to grilled chicken with smoked mozzarella.

LPQ has specific menus for breakfast and dinner (though many items are available all day), so if you want the Sesame-Crusted Salmon with Miso Glaze, for instance, from the dinner menu, then you need to go after 5 p.m.

I recommend the pumpkin pie. It was one of the best I’ve ever eaten – and I’ve tried lots of pumpkin pies.

As a growing number of consumers are becoming increasingly calorie conscious, there’s no guessing games at LPQ – every food item has its caloric content printed beside it right on the menu. That’s refreshing in this day and age when many restaurants try to hide the nutritional values (or lack thereof) of their food.

Many chain restaurants don’t publish nutritional information at all. So give us this day our Le Pain Quotidien!

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