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November 16, 2000|JESSICA STRAND

This pastry, made from rolls of puff pasty, looks like elephant ears to some and hearts to others. Light, flaky and not too sweet, it's perfect with a hot beverage on a mild winter day.

* Paris Pastry: This Westwood bakery has been making palmiers since it opened 38 years ago. Owner and head pastry chef Raymond Lobjois uses the classic technique of rolling the puff pastry back and forth in sugar until it's completely incorporated into the dough, so the palmiers are caramelized on the outside and lightly sweet inside. The small cookie size is just right for dunking. (Small palmiers, $13.95/pound; large, $1.35 apiece.) Paris Pastry, 1448 Westwood Blvd., Westwood, (310) 474-8888.

* Michel Richard: This old-fashioned cafe-bakery makes delicate palmiers from puff pastry, and they'll melt in your mouth. (Palmiers, $12/pound.) Michel Richard, 310 S. Robertson Blvd., (310) 275-5707.

* Figaro: Take a seat at this truly Parisian cafe in Los Feliz and order giant buttery palmier, about six inches across. Get a frothy cafe au lait with it. Ah, what a life. Palmiers are baked from Wednesday to Sunday, so don't expect any early in the week. (Palmiers, $1.75.)

Figaro, 1804 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz, (323) 662-1587.

* Le Conversation: Take a moment to relax at this cozy, intimate spot. Finish off your lunch with a palmier dusted in powdered sugar. There's nothing like breaking and dipping this airy confection into steaming cup of coffee or tea. You can choose from the small or large ones the size of a big man's hand. (Small palmiers, 45 cents; large, $1.75.) Le Conversation, 638 N. Doheny Drive, West Hollywood, (310) 858-0950.

* Madeleine's: After strolling down Montana, recharge your batteries at this lovely Parisian pa^tisserie. Order one of their popular fresh palmiers. They're thin, light and perfectly crisp. (Palmiers, $1.75.) Madeleine's, 1518 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 656-6880.

* Pascal Epicerie: At first, Pascal Olhats only made the small palmier, but they were such a favorite that he decided to make the large ones, too. He makes his palmiers "strictly the French way": puff pastry, lots of butter and just enough sugar. (Small palmiers, 40 cents; large, $1.25.) Pascal Epicerie, 1000 Bristol North, Newport Beach, (949) 261-9041.

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