The summer before my senior year of college, I went on a Maymester to London and Paris with the Interior Design department. One of my favorite memories was walking to a bakery down the street from our hotel in Paris—I would try a different pastry every morning. I have not been able to find a croissant like the ones in France until ST Pâtisserie Chocolat at SOCO in Costa Mesa.
Croissants are layers upon layers of butter between pastry. The croissants at ST Pâtisserie Chocolate just melted in my mouth. The outer shell of the croissant flaked into pieces as soon as I broke it apart. Along with the croissant, I also tried the Kouign-Amann. A simpler name for it is a sugar croissant. There was a little bit of sweetness with each pastry bite. The artistry and design of the pastries shows the elevated skill level of the pastry chefs at the ST Pâtisserie Chocolat. When I go back, I am going to try the macarons and try the desserts!
Since the restaurants in the area looked delicious, my husband and I decided to walk around the different furniture stores to get ourselves hungry for lunch. There was a Mexican restaurant that got great reviews on Yelp that we wanted to try. Taco Maria is a small restaurant with a very limited menu, but had a line out the door.
We got the Arrachera and Mole de Pollo tacos and tried one of each. The Arrachera has hanger steak, roasted chiles, bacon, and quest fundido. The Mole de Pollo has chicken, ancho-almond more, queso fresco, and onion pickle. The mole sauce had a very powerful chocolate taste and needed a crunch to counter balance the sweetness. The other taco had a nice crunch, but could have used more sauce to enhance the flavor. I definitely respect the restaurant’s use of fresh ingredients and unique flavor combinations. I would not say I really enjoyed the tacos and they are not worth the price. The Taco Maria has a great premise, but I would recommend saving your money.
However, I would recommend going back to ST Pâtisserie Chocolat for a French bakery experience. Bon Appétit!