B Patisserie (2821 California Street @ Divisadero St. SF)has quickly become one of my favorite bakeries in SF. Although there are many that I go to for one fantastic item (Knead on 24th for the Pomme d’Amour for example), B has not one but TWO great items which I can not get enough of. One is the decadent Banana Chocolate croissant, which is gooey, comforting and tender an flaky as well. if you are lucky enough to get one of these hot out of the oven, you will not be able to eat this without making a mess. Globs of molten banana, rich melted chocolate and shards of whisper-light croissant flakes will be stuck to your hands, shirt, pants, seat, etc. It is absolutely worth it, and this is coming from a decidedly non-chocolate lover!
Even better is their renowned Kouign Amann (queen-ah-mon). This sounds very fancy, but it’s literal translation is “Butter cake”. Hailing from Btittany, this is supposed to be a Breton cake made with bread dough layered with butter and sugar. In the hands of the team at B, it becomes a fluffy, crispy, flaky crown of puff pastry-like dough with a sugary top. Perfect with a cup of coffee. if you get this to go, PLEASE make sure you eat one as soon as you step outside the door, before you get it home. Although it may still be good when you get home, it will be almost magical eaten hot from the oven!
The shop itself is very nice, and they have much more than these two items; scones, various pastries, sandwiches, salads, coffees, etc. It’s very popular, clean and chic, but I prefer to act like a complete pig in the privacy of my car or house, away from the judgmental eyes of normal eaters.
The resume of co-founder Belinda Leong is very impressive as well. After graduating from the culinary program at City College of SF, she started her career at Gary Danko on the savory team, while helping out in he pastry department. After various stints at places throughout Europe and the US including Pierre Herme and Fauchon, she then became the pastry chef at Manresa. If you like pastry and are near SF, do yourself a favor and make a trip here.