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Mar 8, 2008 04:58 PM

Birthday Cake from a specific route-SD

I've been tasked to bring a birthday cake to the daughter of my uncle's co-worker, who doesn't live in San Diego. The daughter's a student at UCSD. I would like to pick up this cake en route to work, as her birthday is on a weekday. I work in Torrey Pines and my commute starts in North Park, so the bakery will have to be somewhere near, in, or between those two areas. It should also be open in the morning. Type of cake is fairly unimportant, so it can be any type of bakery, as long as the cake's good.

I'm thinking Sage French Cake, but I haven't actually tried the pastries there. I'd order one from Elizabethan Desserts, but I'm saving that as a last resort if I can't find something a little closer. Sorrento European Bakery is also another option, but Mira Mesa's a mess in the morning. I'd rather not go to Extraordinary Desserts.

Suggestions? I appreciate it!

(Edited... because grammar counts. :P)

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  1. Sage is best. They don't open until 10 a.m. though and are closed on Monday. You could pick it up the night before.

    Arely in Clairmont Square makes wonderful cakes and pastries and is open early(6 or 7 a.m.). Even if you get fruit tart instead of a cake, it will be *wonderful*.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cathy

      Hehe, I should have included the possibility of picking it up the night before. :) I read your post on mmm-yoso!!! and it had me drooling, so Sage popped into my head when my uncle called. I'll mention Arely... the mom should know what her daughter likes, so I'll give her 2-3 options and she can call them. The idea is that she orders and pays for the cake via phone and I deliver it.

      Thanks, Cathy!

    2. North Park? You don't want to consider Heaven Scent?

      2 Replies
      1. re: DiningDiva

        My last few visits have been sub-par, although I haven't been since they switched pastry chefs. I love their creme brulee, but the last cake (Queen's Dream or something like that) I had was pretty bad. The cake itself was really dry and crumbly and the icing was rock-hard and too sweet. It's too bad, because they had a great start.

        1. re: geekyfoodie

          Totally understand. My experience hasn't been as bad as your but they haven't been outstanding either.

      2. I'd say michele coulon on Fay in La Jolla is nice and close and you could pick yourself up some of their delectable mini desserts as a reward while you're there, or even have a nice lunch, which I hear is very good!

        1. Someone just mentioned Eclipse Chocolate Cafe on another post; how does that compare to Sage? Or is that less of a bakery and more of a cafe? It's in North Park so it'd definitely be convenient for you.

          10 Replies
          1. re: DougOLis

            They don't have whole cakes available for takeout, but I think it's something they might get around to eventually.

            I think Sage is a good choice - you might also consider Opera Patisserie, you can order online and pick up at their retail location - I think their stuff is probably a little better than Sage, but very close in quality and style. Sage uses a little too much gelatin in some of their pastries for my taste.

            Michelle Coulon is also very good - but would probably be more expensive than either of these options. French Gourmet, in Pacific Beach is another possibility.

            1. re: Alice Q

              Hey Alice,

              I was thinking French Gourmet too, but being a bakery novice I was hesitant to recomend them. The product I have tasted there has always seemed very good to me. I know they do a brisk wedding cake business.

              1. re: Alice Q

                I like the French Gourmet's pastries (although I am not really a sugar person) and I think that would be your best option and I think they are open fairly early--and if you didn't try to get on the 5 afterwards it wouldn't really be that out of your way.

                1. re: jturtle

                  jturtle: I used to be on the crew team at UCSD and we'd take surface streets through Birdrock to LJ Shores to campus. 5 from PB on a weekday is not something I can even fathom right now. :)

                  What's crazy is that I actually have plans to visit Costa Brava the night before for happy hour. This looks like it might be a great option!

                2. re: Alice Q

                  Do you have to order online for Opera or can you go in and purchase? Is it just a kitchen or is there actually a shop?

                  1. re: DougOLis

                    Doug: They're going to open a retail space in Sorrento Valley some time soon (it could be open already). The previous space is L'Opera and while they carry the pastries, it's a different owner, I think.

                    1. re: DougOLis

                      I meant to say "wholesale" not "retail" above - they're opening a retail location in Sorrento Valley soon, but for right now you have to pick up whatever you order at their wholesale facility in Mira Mesa. They used to be on Aero Drive, and I haven't been to the new place yet so can't tell you much about it. The old one was just a little office in front with the kitchen in the back.

                      Cafe de L'Opera has a different owner, her name is Heidi and she used to run Cafe Bassam. She has their pastries and croissants, etc. but not whole cakes - good stuff though!

                      1. re: Alice Q

                        Oh, ok. I just looked at the website and their website and the new retail space is only a couple of blocks from my work, so that's pretty exciting for me!

                        I've just been tasked to pick up a cake tomorrow so I'll let you know how that goes at the new kitchen location.

                    2. re: Alice Q

                      Alice: Oh, I've never tried French Gourmet! Always good to know about another bakery in town. I was just looking through the resurrected catering thread from '04 and you'd mentioned that they did your wedding. Didn't know they had a retail space.

                      1. re: geekyfoodie

                        They do have a retail space, but it's more of a restaurant than a bakery shop - I'd say call them to order in advance. I liked the lemon and chocolate mousse - those were the two flavors we had for our wedding cake (it was included with the catering - which the main reason we had theirs) the other flavors are a little meh. Bear in mind though - this was 2002 and I haven't been there since!