Vanilla cream puff
It's impossible to not notice Beard Papa's Sawtelle location at night. Its bright lights, colorful walls, and constant customers draw you in. In mid-July, this cream puff craze moved into the space that used to be occupied by Mousse Fantasy. That space has been renovated, and still contains Mousse Fantasy, but they no longer serve hot meals, just pastries. Each business occupies a separate counter.
While many people have raved about Beard Papa's cream puffs, I was a little disappointed, probably in part due to the hype. I've been there twice now, and both times the cream puffs were not as fresh as I expected. The shells had been baked far enough in advance that they were no longer warm--a couple hundred were sitting out on a baking rack in clear view. On my first visit, my cream puff had already been filled with custard, but on the second visit, it was filled after I ordered it, like the company promises on their website.
These cream puffs are as big as your hand, so you'll probably be happy with just one or two. They're heavy and packed with a perfectly smooth, dense, whipped custard and are a bit messy to eat. They're also a great deal at $1.50 each. The Sawtelle location has been selling two flavors a day as of my last visit, and I think vanilla is always on the menu. Other choices include chocolate and green tea. If you crave a certain flavor, the staff can usually tell you when they'll be selling it next. I'm not sure if the company is being gimmicky, or if there is a logistical reason why they only do two flavors at a time, but I'd prefer to be able to buy any flavor any day. The vanilla cream was very mild--I preferred the slightly bitter green tea.
Even though I don't think Beard Papa's cream puffs live up to the hype, they're still good, and one of the cheapest desserts you can get on the go. In fact, they're one of the cheapest desserts you can get, period. I'm looking forward to going back and trying the royal milk tea flavor.
2130 Sawtelle Blvd #110
Los Angels, CA 90025
Beard Papa Website