This Dane is Karen Hansen, who has taken pity on the Danish pastry-deprived in West Los Angeles. In July, she opened Copenhagen Pastry on Washington Boulevard in Culver City.
You can almost smell the butter as you walk into this spare, neat little space. Nothing distracts from the counter, which is filled with tempting pastries never before seen on the Westside. Even more are heaped on top.
You can't get everything right now. No cookies yet, no cakes and only one bread, at least when I was there. It was a sesame-coated rye bread (above) with great texture and flavor, unlike any you'd get in a deli sandwich or in a supermarket.
I could evaluate this and many of the pastries thanks to samples set out on the counter.
The plate above holds what I bought. The long, poppyseed- and sesame-sprinkled pastry at the left is what Hansen calls a "savory pastry." This means it is only slightly sweet, not savory in the sense of salty.
The slim pastry that looks like a ladyfinger at the right is "coffee bread," which is baked twice. The plain dough that forms the base is baked first, then topped with sweet almond paste and baked again. The only coffee involved is the hot liquid into which Danes dunk this pastry.
At the front is a round cinnamon pastry topped with a circle of white frosting. Behind it is a nougat crown, which is filled with custard, hazelnut and almond paste.
Also on display were hard-to-resist raspberry pastries and the Copenhagen, which is lined with strips of white and chocolate frosting and filled with custard. Hansen says head baker Henrik Gram will add a new pastry each week.
Hansen advises calling in advance to make sure that kringle is available. Apparently, other Danes have discovered it too.