A cafe I discovered by chance whilst strolling around the neighbourhood while I was getting orientated around the city. Once I saw it, I knew I had to go try it and see. I remember looking at reviews afterwards at home and it was incredibly highly acclaimed. I was excited to check out what it was all about.
Walking into the cafe brings a very classic interior look of white with dark wood accents. It was a fusion of modern chic with a flair of French elegance. I loved the Parisian jazz softly playing in the background. Traditional chalkboards were used for display menus which was a nice touch. I remember that was something distinctive that I noticed when I was in Paris at restaurants. For a little while, it was nice to forget I was in San Diego. Although one is constantly reminded that you are in fact in America when everybody walks in wearing jeans and sneakers. ;)
The trio of items I ordered was somewhat of a strange combination. Rose Sparkling Water. Pain au Chocolat (of course), and upon my server’s recommendation to help me from the list of delicious sounding items - poached eggs with wild mushrooms & sage-truffle beurre blanc.
I loved the Rose flavoured sparkling water. In hindsight, for $4.5, it was way too expensive of what it really was. I think it was just San Pellegrino with some rose syrup. Still nice nonetheless. It was subtle tasting of fresh pressed rose petals yet fragrant with the right amount of sweetness and not overly carbonated. I love this old world flavour and it’s a shame that North America in general doesn’t embrace this more in culinary pursuits. My first sip of the drink instantly brought me back to a dessert I fondly remember having as a kid that my dad made – the Burmese Falooda. I loved the custard, the ice cream, the tapioca and the rose syrup that goes in there. Ah… I think I want one when I go back home this Christmas.
The poached eggs with wild mushrooms & sage-truffle beurre blanc was sensational. One thing I love about French cooking is their liberal use of herbs and flavour combinations. The eggs were served on a piece of rosemary bread that was made in house. On top were the mild mushrooms with a wonderful crunchy texture and more importantly – full of mushroom flavour. The sage-truffle beurre blanc of course was indulgent with aroma’s of shallots, sage and truffle seeping out. The runny egg yolks nicely finished the sauce as you’re eating it. It came with a side of endives with some red cabbage as well – which was okay.
I actually ate the Pain Au Chocolat in the office as I took it with me to enjoy later. It was in the form of of a croissant with a light dusting of chocolate powder on top. The exterior was pleasantly crunchy and flakey, but that’s where it ends. The pastry was as a bit too doughy and bready. The signature buttery taste was lacking which was really too bad. For the casual Chocolatine eater – it should be good. But for one who is looking for perfection, it was a little sub-par.
Overall, I immensely enjoyed Cafe Chloe. San Diego really has a gem of a restaurant here and I look forward to coming here again to try some new things out. There’s a lot going for it and they do a lot of things right.
721 9th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101