pastry (17)
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Gjusta Lemon Cake: This slice of lemon cake from Gjusta in LA is thickly sliced and has a decently tart flavor. Texturally, though, it eats a bit dry. In the landscape of lemon desserts, this one falls somewhere in the middle - not bad, but not particularly notable. 3.0/5.0

3.0 cake lemon gjusta dessert pastry losangeles
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Gjusta Miso date cookie: Gjusta, the sister bakery of Gjelina in Venice, LA, is apparently popular enough to not need any signage. It’s unlabeled storefront conceals a narrow counter and dining area, where patrons wait for a variety of pastries (cakes, cookies, croissants) and hot and cold prepared items (pizza, salads, pâtés). Luckily, their express line was relatively short, which meant purchasing this miso date cookie took just a few minutes. The sizable cookie contains a single date at its center. Its texture is... (read more) 4.0/5.0

dessert 4.0 cookie date miso gjusta venice losangeles la sweets pastry recommended
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b. patisserie milk tea tart: At the corner of Divisadero and California in Lower Pacific Heights (San Francisco) is popular bakery b. patisserie, led by a former pastry chef at fine-dining establishments like Gary Danko and Manresa. The sizable shop feels like a luxury in San Francisco, with only a handful of bakeries able to afford real estate to seat multiple families and smaller parties; the line out of the door, with about a 15 minute wait to the counter, signified they're doing just fine. For Chinese New Year, b.... (read more) 2.5/5.0

2.5 tart tea milk bpatisserie milktea chinese sf pastry desserts
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Acme Bread Almond Plum Pastry: Sometimes when I have a bad day, I'll stop by the Ferry Building in San Francisco and grab a small snack. On my last trip, I purchased a small almond plum pastry, priced at just a little over $2. Inside were warmed, fresh slices of plum, while the pastry itself was flaky on the outside but comfortingly soft on the inside. Dusted with just a bit of powdered sugar, the pastry was faintly sweet yet distinctly almond-flavored. One of the more perfect little bites I've had this year. 4.5/5.0

4.5 plum almond acmebread sanfrancisco bread pastry exceptional
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Mr. Holmes Bakehouse Apple and marscarpone cruffin: In LA on Larchmont, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse looks like just a regular pastry shop: no lines, a modest storefront, and a few nicely presented seasonal options. Both cruffin flavors (maple and beer and apple and marscarpone) were available, with seemingly no particular demand. We tried the apple and marscarpone muffin and donut hybrid, which stood tall and was dusted in sugar. The flavor of the apple filling was nicely spiced and textured like applesauce, and the exterior pastry struck me as more... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 cruffin marscarpone apple mrholmesbakehouse la muffin donut pastry
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Mr. Holmes Bakehouse Peach Cardamon Danish: An entire think piece could be dedicated to Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, a pastry shop in the heart of San Francisco's Tenderloin district. The Dominique Ansel Bakery of SF, it has an equally iconic dessert: the Cruffin. A cross between a muffin and croissant, the Cruffin is filled with a seasonal cream and is made in limited quantities, requiring those willing to wait to get in line early (the bakery opens at 7am on weekdays). But unlike DA Bakery, Mr. Holmes is not based in the SOHO of SF. To... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 danish cardamon peach mrholmesbakehouse sf sanfrancisco pastry desserts recommended