By Yilin Liang:
[pullquote]A new fixture on University Ave., Paris Baguette may evoke images of quaint, slightly broken-down Parisian cafes, but this brightly lit Asian fusion bakery conforms to the modern, high-tech aesthetic of its regular customers.[/pullquote]
Don’t let the name fool you. A new fixture on University Ave., Paris Baguette may evoke images of quaint, slightly broken-down Parisian cafes, but this brightly lit Asian fusion bakery conforms to the modern, high-tech aesthetic of its regular customers. Part of a large chain of bakeries that first began in Korea, Paris Baguette currently has 15 stores open in the United States, the majority of which are located in California. The University Ave. location offers both indoor and outdoor seating, as well as free Wifi for customers.
Upon entering the bakery, one is tempted by the plush booth seats. There is an island counter, as well as a wall filled with baked buns and breads. In this section, one can find anything from French baguettes to conch pies. Following standard procedure, one picks up a wooden tray and tongs selects their desired items for purchase.
Small tags indicate the names and prices of all the fare. There is also a display case filled with small slices of cake and whole cakes. Behind the cashier counter, Paris Baguette employees bake the items they sell in store. Though the most popular foods at Paris Baguette are sweet pastries and cakes, they also offer coffee and sandwiches for those who are craving something more savory.
After a long and difficult decision, I purchased a Tiki Tower cake slice ($4.50) and a Strawberry Cream Pastry ($2.75). The Tiki Tower cake was an elaborately decorated tiramisu-style cake, leaving me plenty of chocolate decoration to munch on along with the dessert itself. Enclosed within a thick, angular container, the cake was surprisingly good. However, for the price I paid, I expected a more extraordinary concoction. The ladyfingers, while not too dry, did not taste like they had been dipped in coffee for long enough and there was too much emphasis on the marscapone and not enough on the ladyfingers.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Strawberry Cream Pastry. However, the more savory and crispy crust was the right balance to the cream inside the pastry. The strawberries, however, were withered or not ripe enough.
I found the Paris Baguette sales staff, clad in berets and black and white striped shirts, friendly and helpful. They were knowledgeable about the foods and could offer me the advice I needed.