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Beard Papa: I finally gave it a try...

writergirl Oct 1, 2006 11:00 PM

I have to say, it wasn't what I expected, but I really liked it. (For the uninitiated, Beard Papa is a Japanese cream-puff chain...I know a cream puff chain sounds weird, but so did a cinnamon roll chain about 20,000 Cinnabons ago!) I went to the Sawtelle Branch. I was the only person there, but everything looked very fresh. One thing that's cool, they fill up the puffs as you wait.

I had a chocolate and a plain. The "pastry" isn't like the cream puffs you're probably used to. The best way to describe it is, it had the consistency of the crunchy outside of an unglazed buttermilk donut, but much thinner. It's not a pastry shell at all, and not very sweet. The chocolate had a delicate chocolate flavor, if you're expecting "death by chocolate" you'll be disappointed. The filling is also not very custard-like. It has a consistency that's a little runnier than pudding. Others have complained they're messy, but I didn't think they were so bad. The plain vanilla one was also delicately flavored. But the vanilla taste was very pleasant.

So, they didn't rock my world, but I thought they were quite tasty and I'd eat them again. (But I wouldn't drive out of my way for them.) When reading this, keep in mind I'm not a big fan of very sweet foods, and one of the reasons I liked these is because they weren't too sweet. If you like your desserts very sweet, you may not care for these.

They're $1.65 each, you get a discount if you buy more than six, I believe. The teenaged shop girls were very nice and efficient. It's located at 2130 Sawtelle, just north of Olympic on the east side of the street in a strip mall with other Asian stores.

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  1. h
    henrychan888 RE: writergirl Oct 1, 2006 11:10 PM

    I recently popped into a Beard Papa as well (San Gabriel). And, my first reaction was "Wow, so expensive for just a simple cream puff." I say "simple" because I watched them make it; they simply pump some cream into a croissant-like puff and that's it. Their response was that there is "a lot of work going into making that 'puff'"

    Anyways, after biting into it, it's actually quite good. It's like a mini croissant with a cream donut filling.. I do agree that it's a lil overpriced.

    2 Replies
    1. re: henrychan888
      trolley RE: henrychan888 Oct 2, 2006 01:27 AM

      call me crazy but $1.50 plus tax for one cream puff isn't really overpriced to me. i was just there today and i actually bought one for $1.50 not $1.65. i don't think i'm mistaken b/c i just used my change for the laundry. now, boule on lacienega is overpriced...

      1. re: trolley
        writergirl RE: trolley Oct 2, 2006 02:05 AM

        Mine were definitely 1.65. Beard Papa's are franchises so perhaps the one on the West Side is more expensive. But I didn't think $1.65 was expensive either. (Quick google search...the Beard Papa's in SF charges $1.75 for vanilla, other flavors are more expensive.)

    2. c
      coconutz RE: writergirl Oct 1, 2006 11:26 PM

      thanks, can you say where it is in SGV? not to familiar with the area but an near the 210 and the 10

      1. t
        thisceci RE: writergirl Oct 1, 2006 11:40 PM

        There is another branch out in Hollywood and Highland across El Capitan theater right by the stairs.

        1. h
          henrychan888 RE: writergirl Oct 2, 2006 01:01 AM

          hi thisceci,

          there is one located in a plaza at: (sorry don't know the name of the plaza)

          301 W Valley Blvd,
          San Gabriel, CA

          there is another one which will be opening in a month.

          Monterey Park
          141 N. Atlantic Blvd #106
          Monterey Park, CA 91754

          1. ChowFun_derek RE: writergirl Oct 3, 2006 03:51 PM

            For the uninitiated...here's the website...for Beard Papa


            1. OCAnn RE: writergirl Oct 3, 2006 04:13 PM

              At the Beard Papa in the Marukai store in Gardena, it was $1.50 for the plain puff, $1.65 for the chocolate covered puff--both with the plain cream filling.

              I had the cream puff on Sunday and thought they were just good (not great). However, I thought the pudding was really good. Just my $0.02.

              1. Pei RE: writergirl Oct 9, 2006 06:54 AM

                Sawtelle's is $1.50 for vanilla, $1.65 for the flavor of the day. I just went on Friday.

                It's not a lot for the size cream puff you get. Especially when a few miles away you can get a (disgusting) cupcake from Sprinkles for $3.25. Or a slice of Lady Jane cake for $6.75 at Gelson's. Even jelly donuts cost $1 these days.

                The vanilla is fine, but the coffee one I got was gritty from coffee powder.

                1. c
                  coconutz RE: writergirl Oct 11, 2006 07:24 PM

                  Thanks for the San Gabriel address, it is not on their website, we will hopefully get a chance to swing by today.

                  1. TonyC RE: writergirl Oct 11, 2006 07:30 PM

                    Also made it this past weekend to the Sawtelle location. A gentleman in my group was offered partnership in a SF franchise location but promptly turned it down. the women who had brunch w/ us at Amandine prior to BP could not stop raving about the pastries before we visited. needless to say, my friend wasn't sad he turned down the franchising opportunity. it's not expensive, but there's definitely no "wow" factory.

                    tho, i did drive a coffee flavored cream puff as a parting gift to my ex-GF in Ontario. she was impressed. this place is a total pantry dropper and i'll definitely be back, but never alone.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: TonyC
                      Das Ubergeek RE: TonyC Oct 13, 2006 03:31 AM

                      I parsed that as "a total panty dropper", which was amusing, but now I'm confused as to what a "pantry dropper" is.

                    2. c
                      coconutz RE: writergirl Oct 12, 2006 09:07 AM

                      After taking a friend to the SGV location today I remembered that the chocolate coated ones are not as good as the plain. The chocolate is a hard, fairly thick coating and it is refrigerated so the delicacy of the top part of the puff is obscured. The chcoclate really dominates. So if it is your first one, try it plain. Then if you want to continue to pig out, get the chocolate if you like that. I love these puffs, but I have to say that the puffs I've tried elsewhere seemed a tiny bit fresher. So fragile and perishable.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: coconutz
                        henrychan888 RE: coconutz Oct 12, 2006 07:07 PM

                        i agree with coconutz. the choco ones really hide the taste and texture of the puff, which is really what makes it good. go with the plain and then the choco. i think they will have a choco-filled one soon.

                        1. re: henrychan888
                          Das Ubergeek RE: henrychan888 Oct 13, 2006 03:32 AM

                          They have the chocolate filling at Sawtelle. I don't like it, it tastes like Jell-O(TM) brand pudding. I like the plain vanilla.

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