I was recently invited to check out Le Parfait Paris, a recent addition to Downtown San Diego. This cafe is actually their second location, with their primary location in Mission Valley. They’ve got an awesome open air feel with this new spot. Tables are on the sidewalk for maximum people watching and to enjoy our usually beautiful weather. Very European!
Jake, T and I visited on a recent Saturday morning and managed to park right in front of the cafe! This is always very exciting to me since I figure Downtown is hellish for parking at all times. Apparently early Saturday morning is not the time for party-goers and parking is more reasonable after all.
Le Parfait Paris has a variety of coffee and drinks options and you can take home some of their bread.
The desserts, cakes, macarons, and pastries are laid out in clear glass boxes like glittering jewels. Each one is placed carefully for display to entice you into purchasing it. Everything looks pristine and delicious and you may have an incredibly hard time choosing which of the delectable goods you want consume.
[chocolate viennois / $3.50]
We started with a few drinks. Jake and T, not coffee fans, got the Chocolate Viennois. It’s basically a fancy pants hot chocolate, made with milk. You are not assaulted with sweetness like a normal American hot chocolate. The sweetness is more subtle and the chocolate plays off your tongue. The rich, thick and creamy whipped cream actually is what enhanced the sweetness. It’s like having a fluffy little cloud on top of your hot chocolate, if clouds were made of heavy cream and sugar.
For myself, I chose a hazelnut latte. They use a Nespresso here for their coffees. This latte had a creamy, foamy top and I loved seeing the “layers” at the bottom. With a little swirl of the spoon, the drink comes together to create a lightly sweetened drink. I really enjoying the hot, foamy milk and the touch of sweetness the drink had.
[pain au chocolat aux amandes / $3.30]
I remember reading about this Almond & Chocolate croissant on CC’s blog and knew I wanted to try it. You can see all of the pretty layers of pastry folded over and over again on the top.
From the inside – layers of chunks of chocolate on the bottom, plus the almond filling. This is a dense, layered, and buttery croissant but it is not crunchy. I was … sort of expecting (hoping) for a little crunchiness, but this is a soft croissant. Jake commented that the texture is like an underbaked cookie – quite soft, but still dense. The layers are buttery, soft and blend together and combine with the smooth, creamy almond filling and the bits of luscious chocolate. It’s a nice combination, but I still… sort of… wish for a little crunchiness. Oh well.
[quiche lorraine / $5.25]
I decided on a Quick Lorraine because it didn’t really look like any quiche I’ve ever had. I’m used to seeing quiches in a tart crust and this one barely looked like a tart at all.
Once you break through that top layer you can see the eggs. The eggs were fluffy and light and had a creaminess to them from baking slowly over low heat in the oven. The eggs were almost like a soft custard, mixed with gruyere cheese and bacon. The puff pastry shell was incredibly crispy and flaky, adding to the wonderful texture of the quiche. The boys and I really liked this one!
[eggs benedict / $6.50]
I recently rediscovered a love for eggs benedict while dining at Claire’s on Cedros a few months ago but then I had a not so good benedict at Cafe 21. What I realized is that it’s all about the hollandaise sauce. Some people make it really well and some people don’t. It seems to be a gamble but I’m glad I took the chance on Le Parfait Paris’ version because it was heavenly. They made it fresh on the spot (always a good sign) and the sauce was so creamy and full of flavor. They sprinkled a little fresh basil on which it gave it a hint of extra flavor. The delicious eggs and tasty Canadian bacon are placed over a fresh croissant. I added avocado to the dish and felt it was perfect. My only qualm? Not nearly large enough since I wanted more and more of that delicious hollandaise sauce!
[corse sandwich / $6.15]
They have a few sandwiches available at Le Parfait Paris and each one is named after a region in France. We went with the Corse sandwich which is a combination of salami slices, fig chutney and French imported gruyere cheese on a baguette. I adored the bread the most – it had a crusty, crunch outside but the inside of the bread was still soft and chewy. The mix of salami and gruyere cheese was perfect. The gruyere was nutty and tangy and paired nicely with the salami.
[le trilogie / $6.95]
It was hard to pick only two desserts to try and I decided on this one because of the layers.
Oh, the layers! This dessert has a flourless brownie on the bottom (making this a gluten free dessert) with layers of dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate mousses. There’s no additional sugar added to this dessert to really let the natural flavors shine through. It’s still quite sweet though from the white chocolate layer. It’s very dense and luscious and the perfect dessert for any true chocolate lover. The outside is dotted with chewy little macarons for an extra layer of texture.
[mille-feuille odette / $6.95]
A cross between the Le Mille-Feuille and the Le Saint-Honore, the Mille-Feuille Odette is a dessert that the chef was inspired to create by his grandmother. Le Mille-Feuille is what we know as a Napoleon and the Le Saint-Honore is a cake made with puff pastry and cream puffs. This is a fun combination dessert where you get the Napoleon on the bottom with half of a raspberry dipped cream puff on top with more whipped cream and raspberries. It sounds like it would be sweetness overload but it’s actually quite light with such a touch of sweetness, something we saw again and again with all of the items here at Le Parfait Paris. Jake and I really enjoyed that aspect the most. The sweetness isn’t overpowering but instead you get bits of it from the raspberry cream on the bottom of the cream puff, or a little whiff of sweetness from the whipped cream. The vanilla custard was creamy, smooth and delectable and there was a slight crispiness.
We really enjoyed the food we tried at Le Parfait Paris and I even took home a baguette to serve with dinner that evening. We’ll definitely be back to try out a few more things!
Le Parfait Paris
555 G Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Disclaimer: I was invited to check out Le Parfait Paris and received a 15% discount on our meal. All opinions here are my own.