Friday, May 1, 2009

Kara's Cupcakes, San Francisco CA

Having changed my route back to the hotel after pizza at Orgasmica in order to check out a store off Lombard, I was happy to see the cute sign on Lombard pointing toward Scott Street that said “Cupcakes this way.” Having tried Kara’s expertly crafted cupcakes at Ghirardelli Plaza on my last visit to San Francisco I had mixed feelings – while delicious, the cakes were small and while the ingredients were quality the prices were high. That noted, having read some other reviews after coming back to Ohio it appeared I’d missed out on the best – the Chocolate Velvet, so I stopped in for a bite. Like the Ghirardelli location I was greeted by wonderful customer service, smiling faces, and a pristine store.

As I walked into the store I browsed the selections and surprisingly noted they were all out of the velvet - C’est la vie, I figured, and instead I ordered a filled passion fruit. Speaking briefly with the clerk I was told that if I hung out for 2 minutes a fresh batch of Chocolate Velvet would be out – so hang I did. Notably, during those 2-3 minutes four more persons came in to pick up orders or individual cupcakes including an older woman who waited with me for the Chocolate Velvet. Finally receiving my prize, still warm no-less, I paid and made my way to the street.

Once again eating while I was walking (the third time that day, already) I first addressed the Chocolate Velvet. Clearly fresh and loaded with soft and smooth icing the texture of this beauty resembled more of a soufflĂ© than a cake and the overall effect was quite literally like Chocolate velvet – light, smooth, airy, and wonderful – the best chocolate cupcake I’ve ever tasted, topping Kara’s sublime Fleur de Sel from my last visit.

Finishing the small cake in short order, I next proceeded to devour the Passion Fruit. Sweet and smooth, creamy and citrus, I must admit this cake was a bit more dense than the Chocolate Velvet and perhaps even a little too sweet. Certainly not as nuanced as the Passion Fruit at Vanilla in Los Angeles, regardless.

All told, I like what Kara is doing with her “as healthy as cupcakes can be” approach and absolutely love her chocolate flavors while her fruits tend to lag behind a bit. Highly recommended.

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