Weird name, tasty puff

beardpapa.jpgA friend of mine returned from a NYC trip earlier this week raving about the miracle that is Beard Papa cream puffs. Since I was out of town earlier in the month, I had no idea a Beard Papa had opened at Hollywood and Highland until I walked by it earlier today.

After my stressful psychic experience this afternoon, I hoped a cream puff would lighten my mood. With tax, a regular puff is only $1.62, and when I stopped by around 4 p.m., there were only a few people in line. I’m not sure a cream puff alone is worth dealing with the tourist insanity of the Hollywood and Highland complex, but if you have to head over there for something else, a cream puff will sweeten the journey.

One Reply to “Weird name, tasty puff”

  1. They have the best cream puff on earth. Here is an artical from Los Angeles Times:

    CrÔøΩme de la crÔøΩme of chain-store puffs
    Beard Papa, a voluminous Japanese-based chain, opens at the Hollywood & Highland Center.
    By S. Irene Virbila, Times Staff Writer
    From the name, it could be a jazz club, but it isn’t. Beard Papa is not the latest saxophonist to burn up the stage but a jolly Santa Claus figure whose day job is figurehead and logo for a voluminous Japanese-based chain of dessert cafÔøΩs.
    When the first Beard Papa Sweets CafÔøΩ to hit New York opened on the Upper West Side, the line snaked around the block. Fortunately, Angelenos will no longer have to take the red-eye to JFK for their cream puff fix, because we got our very own Beard Papa a couple of weeks ago.

    Ordinarily, wild horses couldn’t drag me to the Hollywood & Highland Center, yet just last week I found myself nosing my car down the endless ramps of the way-below-ground parking structure and emerging, finally, on the escalator with one mission in mind: to try the freshly baked cream puffs at Beard Papa.
    The girls in Sephora knew just where the cafe was: down the steps toward Hollywood Boulevard. While someone rang up my mascara, my fellow cream puff enthusiast scuttled down those steps, out of sight, calling, “Meet you there!” over his shoulder.
    By the time I got there, he was already inside, flashing me a wicked smile. Down the hatch: one vanilla cream puff. The whole place smells like a vanilla bean (Madagascar vanilla, if anybody’s wondering).
    This may be the new Krispy Kreme. The concept is simple but brilliant. Two refrigerator-sized ovens churn out the puffs, each of which is hand-filled when you order. Right now they come in three varieties: basic vanilla, chocolate or ÔøΩclair, which is the vanilla cream puff napped with deep, dark chocolate. Whoops, make that four varieties, because you can also order the ÔøΩclair as a double chocolate ÔøΩ with a chocolate filling.
    The custard, which is made fresh every couple of hours, is thick and luscious, and the chocolate tastes just like chocolate pudding. They’ve got the sweetness level just right too. It would be very easy to develop a craving for these babies.
    The trick is to eat them fresh. It’s so tempting to get some for a dinner party or the holidays ÔøΩ you can order them by the dozen (or more). But they have to be refrigerated, which means the experience is slightly different, because the pastry shell gets cold.
    After I’d tried the ÔøΩclair, which, for my money, is the best thing going here, I couldn’t resist buying a dozen of them to serve that night to some dessert enthusiasts who were already coming over for dinner. While my guests weren’t looking, I took the cream puffs out of the fridge and piled them on an antique cake plate. That really got their attention.
    But even with the help of two other guests, we couldn’t manage to polish off the whole dozen. One is delicious. Two is somehow less delicious.
    Freshly filled right at the cafÔøΩ is the most delicious of all.
    My advice: If you plan to eat them later, pick them up as close as possible to the time you’ll be serving them. And beware the temptation to dip into the box on the ride home. Better buy a couple of extras.
    Beard Papa Sweets CafÔøΩ
    Where: Hollywood & Highland Center, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., No. 153, Hollywood
    When: Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sundays. Lot parking, up to 4 hours, is $2 with validation.
    Cost: Cream puffs, $1.50 to $1.85
    Info: (323) 462-6100

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