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Local Bounty: March 18

Sweet Paris Baguette

By Caron Golden

Local Bounty: March 18

Pastries from Paris Baguette

When the ginormous Korean chain H-Mart landed in Mira Mesa last year, San Diegans got more than a sprawling Asian market. They also got the Korean bakery Paris Baguette, which is housed in a front corner of H-Mart at 9440 Mira Mesa Blvd. near the 15 freeway. A division of SPC Group, a Korean-based international food and food services company, Paris Baguette has close to 3,000 stores in Korea, 50 in China and dozens in the U.S.—16 alone in California.

The concept is a pure charm offensive. The space is reminiscent of a Parisian patisserie with clean, elegant lines and a mouthwatering display of sweets and breads. But it is self service. Pick up an elegant tray and tongs and make your way around the tables filled with house-baked treats to select what you want before heading to the register to pay.

But look closely. Yes, you’ll see the familiar pan au chocolate and croissant, perhaps a twist donut, berry tart, cheesecake, and macarons. But, hey, there’s a donut stuffed with kabocha squash and a croissant filled with a sausage, and a green tea chiffon cake. In other words, French-style pastries and breads with a delightful Asian twist. Here are several I picked out:

Green Tea Swirl Bread

Enjoy this unusual bread with an afternoon cup of tea. The bread is wonderfully chewy and infused with subtle hints of green tea. Like most French-influenced Asian pastries, it has a terrific richness without being overly sweet. $1.60

Choco Croissant

Unlike a square pan au chocolate, the choco croissant retains it crescent shape, but is studded inside with dark chocolate. The croissant itself is everything it should be—buttery and flaky—but you’ll smile when you get a zap of the chocolate. This is the stuff coffee klatches are made of. $1.90


If you’re not familiar with the French canele, it’s a small pastry with a tender interior custard surrounded by dark, thick, caramelized crust. They do it just fine at Paris Baguette. It’s truly a luxurious few bites. $1.80


Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made from glutinous or sticky rice. It often comes in the form of ice cream—even at places like Trader Joe’s. At Asian markets you’ll find it in various pastel colors, shaped in round or oval balls. Here, Paris Baguette offers a mochi that wraps around a sweet walnut filling or red bean filling. It’s an unusual but winning texture. The sweet walnut filling is indeed sweet with a bit of crunch from the nuts. The red bean filling, common in many pastries, is dense and just this side of savory. If you want to try something a little different, start here. $1.75

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