Levain bread and morning buns from San Francisco's Tartine have fans around the world. Recent talk on Chowhound centered on the bakery's lesser-known (but no less delicious) offerings. California Sunshine loves the wonderful banana cream tart (pictured, foreground): a thin crust underneath chocolate ganache and caramel, topped with pastry cream, slices of banana, and chocolate shavings. It's elegant enough to win over pudding-haters.
Another Tartine masterpiece that rarely gets crowed about is the tres leches cake. Melanie Wong says that unlike the familiar rough-textured pastry soaked through with milk, the Tartine version is a fine-grained layer cake with distinct components and surprising complexity.
Tartine Bakery [Mission District]
600 Guerrero Street, San Francisco