Bonjour! Opera Patisserie Fines…Redux!
So on Wednesday, I went back to Opera Patisserie during lunch for reasons that I will refrain from saying because…I just feel like it! Ok? Back off! Now anyways, I was determined to have a somewhat “nutritious,” well-balanced lunch…something more than just sugar.
The cafe was empty when I went in just before noon, so I took my time to look at the menu and the prepared salads in the glass case. I thought to myself, “If I have a salad, then that should balance out one dessert for the day.” And with that mind set, I talked to Elizabeth (I think that’s her name…it’s the name that’s on the receipt) asking about the salads. She highly recommended the cucumber, asparagus, and broccoli goat cheese salad. And I must say, she was right to. That salad out of the 3 that I chose was the shining star. However, what’s a star without an entourage? Accompanying the greens was a “couscous” salad and the carrot “tabouleh.” I put quotes because…well take a look:
See something odd? Which is the couscous and which is the tabouleh?
The “tabouleh” is the one with the couscous and the “couscous” is more like a chickpea salad. Nevertheless, it was delicious! My favorite part of this meal you ask? It was taking pieces of goat cheese and spreading it on my fresh ciabatta slice, then consuming it! Mmm…savored every moment of it. Everything was clean and refreshing, but I can’t stress enough how light all 3 of the salads were! And none of them were in lack of flavor *ahem…RA’s udon*. The couscous was not too mushy and the carrot strings helped add a crunch to it. This sampling’s biggest surprise was that I thought I wasn’t a fan of artichokes, yet there was not a single artichoke left in the little plastic bowl in the end. Actually there wasn’t anything left in the little bowl in the end, period.
Of course, how could I possibly leave without dessert? So I got out of the chair and went back to the glass case to stare, once again, at the offerings that were beckoning to me. I knew that the macaroons were fabulous, as I have mentioned in my previous review, but the cakes…I was hesitant. Were they going to overload me and kill me with sugar? Was I going to have a sugar hangover back at work? Then I figured…you did good with salad for lunch, might as well treat yourself! So I did.
I felt like chocolate but I was torn between the Dulce and the Sacher. Am I ever not torn between the abundance of choices with my favorite dessert places? Nope. But the sacher seem like the “lighter” of the two and somewhere deep down inside, I wanted this Sacher to bring back the good memories I have associated with the sacher. The most talented man I had the pleasure of knowing and working for made this for me and I was instantly changed when I tasted it. I think it was that day that I realized that not just any dessert will do it for me anymore. I wanted more and I wanted it now!
Opera Patisserie’s sacher was not the same as my very first sacher, but rather…it was a completely different experience for me. First off, this version had an equal amount of cake and mousse. My first sacher was 90% cake, a layer of apricot jam filling, and the entire cake was enrobed in ganache. And if my memory serves me correctly, the cake was not just a chocolate cake, but rather a chocolate hazelnut (or almond) cake. Opera’s sacher was like a light chocolate sponge cake and the mouse had pieces of candied oranges mixed in. Perhaps they mixed in orange marmalade into the mousse?
The layer of ganache was sparkling under the lights, but what was unfortunate was that the chocolate decorations were sweating. This makes me wonder if my little sacher had been in the freezer for some time and if so, how long?? I understand the need to refrigerate and/or freeze extra desserts because when you run a business it is sometimes a necessity especially if you are low on hands. Even so it makes me a little sad to think that this wonderful cake had to spend time in the freezer however, the fact the ganache didn’t feel or taste old gives me that tiny hope that maybe it was just the chocolate that has been sitting in the fridge.
The sacher was just the right size and it satisfied my sweet tooth. When you go to Opera, don’t think just because the selection of pastries are small that they won’t be “enough.” Although small in size, it is not small in flavor. That’s how I feel about this place: small, sweet, and unassuming…but you’ll leave feeling like you just had the grandest meal ever, even if you go just for a piece of cake.Ópera, Patisseries Fines
1354 5th Avenue
San Diego, Ca 92101