Los Angeles: Beard Papa's / by Alice Zhao

Back when we were visiting Japan a few years ago, we walked past a bakery shop in Kobe that was just oozing with the smell of butter. We literally stopped and backtracked to the perfume of... oh let's call it "eau de buerre". They were selling giant cream puffs and we had to have some! These were truly deliciously creamy and the choux pastry was so soft and buttery but with perfect amount of crispness on the outershell. It's a type of a cream that is a little bit more pudding than whipped cream.

Ever since we've been back, we've been dreaming about those giant cream puffs. Well that and everything else that we ate in Japan. You don't quite get a full range of authentic Japanese food here in Chicago, so we saw our trip to Los Angeles as our opportunity to bring us back. SO, when Jared told me he read about this giant puff pastry chain called Beard Papa in Los Angeles, I got so excited. We had to have it! Luckily they're all over the place and we found one really close to where we were staying. (BTW, there's Beard Papas all over in San Francisco, New York, Seattle, New Jersey, Hawaii and even Orlando. Ok, seriously, Orlando? Can someone please open one up in Chicago? Why are we always so behind?)

Here are some snapshots from our visit.

Beard Papa

Beard PapaThe pastries are filled with cream to order so as to guarantee the freshness of the cream puff.

Beard Papa
Beard Papa
I'd have to say that they weren't quite the same as the one we had in Kobe. There's definitely less butter in the choux pastry so it wasn't as flavorful. We didn't get the crazy whiff of butter when we entered the store either. But overall, I still liked it quite a bit. Seriously, who doesn't like giant cream puffs anyway?

Now if only they'd start opening Mannekan waffle shops... my life would be complete. We had so many of those every time before we'd hop on the bullet train to our next destination in Japan. Zoom!