Craftsman and Wolves Strawberry Cake: On Valencia in the heart of the Mission is the original location of the Craftsman and Wolves, a pastry shop where each item is backdropped by a matte black countertop, with slide-out trays for individually plated cakes and specialty items. The presentation of the pastries is impeccable, with a commendable level of consistency and care put into every piece. Of course, as with any San Francisco establishment, you pay a premium for quality - the strawberry cake, about 4 inches long, was $8. Pill-shaped, with a slick red sheen, the cake sits upon a biscuit base and is topped with shavings of white chocolate mixed with poppy seeds. On the inside there are three layers: a poppy-seed cake base, a layer of tart strawberry "jam," and an interior of light cream. The cake strikes a balance between sweet and rich, with the tartness of the strawberry providing a nice amount of contrast and sharpness. It's not a dessert I would crave, but I can definitely appreciate the amount of technique that went into making this refined dessert. 4.0/5.0

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