Category Archives: bakery

Fancy fruit tarts, unbelievable clam chowder & more, Everywhere, California

The Croque Monsieur panini at Harvey's Bar & Restaurant, San Francisco.

The Croque Monsieur panini at Harvey’s Bar & Restaurant, San Francisco.

Last week, I got a chance to travel along the California coastline with one of my best friends. Along with taking in some of the amazing scenery that the state has to offer, we took on some culinary adventures as well. Check out some of the establishments where we satisfied our appetites between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Harvey’s Restaurant & Bar, San Francisco

Harvey’s is a highly-rated, well-known restaurant and bar in San Francisco’s Castro District and serves as a tribute to politician and gay rights activist Harvey Milk. The restaurant has a modern yet laid-back atmosphere, and the staff were very courteous and welcoming.

I decided to order the Croque Monsieur panini, which came toasted with country pit ham, havarti and parmesan cheese, dijon and herbed aioli, a creamy sauce usually made with garlic, egg yolks, olive oil and lemon juice. I ordered fries as my side.

To me, panini is just a fancy name for grilled sandwich. But this was a very good, fancy grilled sandwich. The cheese tasted fresh and melted just right, and the aioli added a great flavor to the sandwich. I think I’m going to order anything that has aioli on it for now on.

Me at Pismo Beach. Sorry, no clam chowder photo.

Me at Pismo Beach. Sorry, no clam chowder photo.

I also ordered a cranberry & vodka (warning: Harvey’s makes their cranberry & vodkas strong), and the Outrageous cocktail, which was made with Absolut Citron and Mandrin, 7Up, fresh lime and cranberry juice on the rocks in a pint glass. I typically don’t like cocktails that have more than three ingredients because they tend to be too sweet. But the Outrageous cocktail was refreshing, and I didn’t feel like I was drinking a cup of syrup.

Altogether, my bill came out to about $26, including tax. Harvey’s is located at 500 Castro St. Call (415) 431-4278 or visit for more information.

Splash Cafe, Pismo Beach

I love seafood, so I definitely wanted to stop by Splash Cafe in Pismo Beach, which touts its award-winning New England clam chowder. It also has received requests from Gourmet Magazine and Bon Appetit magazine for its clam chowder recipe, according to its website.

I can believe it because that was the best clam chowder I have ever had. The clams and potatoes were tender, and the broth was creamy and savory. Although it already came in a bread bowl, the chowder was also accompanied by two slices of buttery, grilled sourdough bread to dunk into it. They were a great complement to the dish. I was in a blissful state eating this chowder.

The chowder itself was enough for a meal, but since my eyes were bigger than my stomach that night, I also ordered the cafe’s fish and chips entree. The fish was fresh, flaky, lightly breaded and not overly seasoned. I also like that the fish came with a side of curly fries. I devoured my food so quickly that I forgot to take a photo of the spread (Oops!).

Along with a fountain drink, my meal came out to about $19, including tax. Splash Cafe is located at 197 Pomeroy Ave. Call (805) 773-4653 or visit for more information.

Fruit tart at Bottega Louie in Los Angeles.

Fruit tart at Bottega Louie in Los Angeles.

Bottega Louie, Los Angeles

A friend we were visiting in Los Angeles said if we like dessert, then we needed to go to Bottega Louie. From the marble floors to the gold-trimmed tables, this restaurant was so upscale that I felt like I needed to be wearing a gown in order to dine there.

The patisserie staff members were standing behind the fancy glass displays, waiting to take our order. From the tiramisu to the creme brulee to macarons, there were so many delicious-looking desserts to choose from. Several of them were in the $10 to $15 range. I decided on the fruit tart, which was made with vanilla creme custard and fresh raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.

I’ll be honest. I went with the fruit tart because it was one of the more affordable desserts at $6. However, I wasn’t disappointed by my choice. The fruit tart brought the flavor. The custard was rich without being over-the-top decadent, and the fresh fruit was delicious and created a nice presentation. If I’m in the LA area again and I’m craving dessert, I will come back to Bottega Louie (this time, in a nicer outfit).

Bottega Louie is located at 700 S. Grand Ave. For more information, call (213) 802-1470 or visit


Posted by on January 21, 2015 in bakery, dessert, seafood


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Palo Alto’s La Baguette serves up rich, decadent chocolate mousse and great presentation

The Ham& Swiss Cheese Parisian sandwich at La Baguette in Palo Alto.

The Ham & Swiss Cheese Parisian sandwich at La Baguette in Palo Alto.

I had a frustrating afternoon, so I decided to eat my feelings (I do not recommend this as a regular stress-relief method). What better way to do this than with rich, decadent French food?

My mission led me to La Baguette, a French bakery in Palo Alto that has an extensive list of intriguing desserts, pastries and artisan sandwiches.

Dish of Choice

I ordered the Ham & Swiss Cheese Parisian sandwich, which came on a lightly toasted, buttered baguette. I also ordered a mocha and chocolate mousse for dessert. My meal cost about $18.

The Taste

The bread was toasted just right, like it came right out of the oven, and the sliced ham and cheese tasted fresh.

The chocolate mousse was as decadent as I expected it to be, without being overly rich or sweet. The fresh raspberry and candy leaf on top were also a nice touch. Great presentation.

The Chocolate Mousse at La Baguette in Palo Alto.

The Chocolate Mousse at La Baguette in Palo Alto.

The Ambiance

La Baguette has a small but quaint storefront. It is what I imagined a bakery in Paris would feel like, filled with delicious and visually pleasing treats.

The bakery is located in Stanford Shopping Center, and there is probably enough seating for 25-30 people in the pavilion. The area is partially enclosed, and it feels like a nice place to relax with a cup of coffee and pastry on a sunny day.

Other Details

La Baguette is located inside Stanford Shopping Center, near the corner of El Camino Real and Quarry Road, in the pavilion next to Macy’s. It also has a location at the Stonestown Galleria, 3521 20th Ave., Suite 172, in San Francisco.

Hours at the Palo Alto location are 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call (650) 321-0535 or visit

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Posted by on December 18, 2014 in bakery, French


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The “Just Like Apple Pie” crepe tastes like the name says at Mountain View’s Posh Bagel


The “Just Like Apple Pie” Crepe at The Posh Bagel in Mountain View.

I wanted to avoid the Black Friday madness, so I headed to downtown Mountain View, which has a quaint little shopping area and a diverse offering of restaurants. I was looking for a reasonably-priced place to enjoy a cup of coffee and maybe a sandwich. I came across The Posh Bagel.

Don’t let the name fool you. The eatery has lot more to offer than just bagels.

Dish of Choice

I decided to go with the “Just Like Apple Pie” Crepe, which cost about $6. It was made with caramelized apples and cinnamon spice inside a warm crepe (a very thin pancake that is known for being a part of traditional French cuisine), sprinkled with powdered sugar and outlined with whipped cream.

The Taste

It was delicious and not overly decadent. Like the name says, it does taste like apple pie, only without the crust. The only thing that would have made it better would be a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top (I only eat apple pie a la mode). It was a good-sized crepe that took up most of the plate, but I didn’t feel like I was going to burst out of my jeans after eating it.

The Ambiance

The Posh Bagel is a nice, laid-back place to have a sandwich or a cup of coffee. The eatery seats about 25-30 people, and it has floor-to-ceiling windows, which allow a lot of natural sunshine to come through. There is also outdoor seating available.

Other Details

The Posh Bagel has a variety of sweet and savory crepes, as well as bagels, salads, soups, baked goods and coffee and espresso drinks. It also offers sandwiches, which customers can have on a bagel, croissant or focaccia bread. Dining in and take-out are available.

The Posh Bagel is located at 444 Castro St., Suite 120, in downtown Mountain View. Hours are 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call (650) 968-5308.

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Posted by on November 29, 2014 in bakery, crepes


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