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Cafe Blanc, Costa Mesa - Long

m
mikester Oct 27, 2006 07:03 PM

Cafe Blanc is a small patisserie located in Costa Mesa. It's tucked into a corner building facing the inside of the strip mall, so it's easy to miss, but it's worth finding this place, because it's a little gem, IMO. I only discovered it because of the recent LA Times Food Section piece on layer cakes.

I had a mini cake called the Mirroir, which was a beatiful thing - a moist chocolate layer cake creation with a raspberry filling enrobed in a deep, dark glossy chocolate glaze. Delicious - light, not too sweet, rather elegant and nuanced. The style of this place is just that -they're not trying to knock you over the head with sugar. These are desserts made for adults, clearly. Because I had the cake "for here", it was plated in a graceful way, accompanied with a small scoop of raspberry gelato (they have about 20 or more flavors of gelato)

I had that item with a double machiatto, which was fine although not the greatest - the crema was not as good as it could have been. If I have one criticism, it is this - the espresso could use some work. But I loved this place, so much so that I took a few things home to share with my wife, a mini pana cotta and a mini pear creation, which again was very light and sophisticated. She agreed with me that these things are not too sweet, which we really appreciate. In addition to the pastries and gelati, they also make truffles, all of which look gorgeous. I look forward to going back to this place and trying a few other things !

I hope this place does well - it's clear they're working very hard to do so, and I appreciate it, I hope you try it as well.

http://www.cafeblanc.us/

  1. c
    cdmedici Oct 27, 2006 07:57 PM

    I love this place. I am not much for overly sweet desserts so this place is ideal. I have not had their gelato yet. I hear it is great.

    For gelato, I have been going to Il Gelato by the Newport Pier. It is a new place opened by the owners of Il Farro around the corner from it.

    1. m
      mrsjoujou Oct 27, 2006 09:38 PM

      So far we have tried 10 diffrent desserts and some were hits and some were not. My last trip there, was a bad one. I got tiramisu(very bland with no liquor),mont blanc(lots of cream and not much else) and duex chocolat(fine).

      1. k
        kevin Oct 27, 2006 11:37 PM

        if he's still making the desserts he made at noveau cafe blanc, this place is gong to be amazing.

        stuff like tiramisu, a dar chocolate terrine with brandied bing cherries inside, and a coconut panna cotta with softly whipped vanilla studded whipped cream.

        hopefully they have these

        1. c
          Chubbypanda Oct 30, 2006 03:30 PM

          Sounds wonderful. It's within a block of both Plums and Frenzy Sushi, which means I can stop there for dessert after.

          - Chubbypanda

          http://epicurious-wanderer.blogspot.com/

          1. r
            royaljester Jul 24, 2008 11:29 PM

            I just went last weekend and it was awesome. Pictures included (assuming upload works)

            I ordered the rare cheesecake which came with raspberry sorbet. It was very smooth and rich, hard to describe but very nice. Sorbet had a good texture and taste of raspberry. I ordered the iced tea which goes well with sweets.

            They had cheap decent macaroons ($1.50), at least compared to the $3-$4 that I had in France two months ago (partly due to exchange rate).

            Service is excellent, and it's a nice place to have dessert. Maybe half of their clientelle was Japanese.

            This place has Japanese-French style desserts, and a pleasant surprise to be found in Socal. Better than most dessert places even in Japan based on just the two items we've had (wife had a grapefruit gelatin, which was nice).

             
             
            1. c
              carter Jul 25, 2008 08:45 AM

              When Tomi Harase had Cafe Blanc in east Hollywood on Beverly Blvd. east of Vermont, and more recently his Nouveau Cafe Blanc in Beverly Hills, it was considered one of the best, and most affordable meals at the higher levels of dining.
              While never patronized sufficiently to make $$$, he relocated to the OC to open this venture. I always remember his desserts being a highlight of any meal, and this comes from one who does not eat desserts in any major way.
              One of these days I will have to find justification to get there, maybe with friends who live nearby.

              1 Reply
              1. re: carter
                k
                kevin Aug 4, 2008 12:51 AM

                Yes, I remember Nouveau Cafe Blanc, one of the fine dining highlights in LA. I was so sad to see it go, that and of course the Wiener Factory.

                Anyhow, hopefully, we can persuade him to do some savory dishes at the now dessert only cafe in Costa Mesa.

                I remember his desserts at Nouveau in BH being amazing, but the desserts here are good just not as good.

                The chocolate with cheeries is always good, so is his tiramisu, and his chocolate truffles were always amazing though I haven't tried them at the new place yet. Have that and a couple of Carm's Coney Dogs in the area. And your good to go.

              2. w
                Wonginator Jul 25, 2008 10:55 AM

                I stumbled across this place last week, after having lunch at Garduno's for the first time in a long while. I didn't realize that Cafe Blanc was part of the same building and just literally right around the corner.

                Didn't really know what to get, so I tried the tiramisu gelato. Very tasty.

                Now that I know where it is, I plan to visit whenever I'm nearby.

                1. r
                  royaljester Aug 3, 2008 11:25 PM

                  I ordered the chocolate pudding and coffee gelatin to go today. Both were great, and I would definitely recommend the pudding as the best so far. They use great cocoa and this is a superb gem.

                  I'm from San Diego but I'll stop by this place sometimes while driving to LA or South Coast Plaza (10 mins away).

                   
                  1. r
                    royaljester Sep 23, 2008 10:29 PM

                    Went again this weekend - pictures included! First is a cheese souffle. Great top layer texture, this souffle is a winner. I had a chocolate cake which was good too. The watermelon sorbet is how fruit sorbet should be - the essence of watermelon and most of the sweetness is from the fruit.

                    From the times I've been here, I'd recommend the cheese souffle or rare cheesecake for anyone into deep subtle flavors. The coffee gelee should be great for any coffee lovers. My personal favorite is the chocolate pudding - mousse like and full of chocolate.

                     
                     
                    2 Replies
                    1. re: royaljester
                      nomnomnoms Sep 24, 2008 09:59 PM

                      i absolutely love the panna cotta there... it's so light, but so yummy!
                      their seasonal gelees are quite delicious too.

                      pictures:
                      http://inomthings.blogspot.com/2008/0...

                      1. re: nomnomnoms
                        r
                        royaljester Sep 26, 2008 02:42 AM

                        Nice pics and great review on your site! Definitely I'm the same about cakes - I'd rather have one excellent cake than a dozen ordinary ones. Cafe Blanc is a winner in my book.

                        I'm actually from San Diego and will stop by Blanc on my way to Los Angeles. In San Diego, I'd suggest Sage Cafe in Convoy - nice but not Cafe Blanc. =)

                    2. janetms383 Sep 25, 2008 09:29 AM

                      I just want to say thanks for posting.

                      WE NEED MORE OF AN ORANGE COUNTY PRESENCE ON THIS BOARD!!

                      The OC has great restaurants.

                      1. r
                        royaljester Mar 27, 2009 10:37 PM

                        So far I've tried about a dozen desserts here and all have been great if not fantastic. My favorite is still the striped chocolate pudding and the cheesecake, and I'm still willing to drive 1 1/2 hours from San Diego for it. =)

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