exilekiss had himself a cream puff showdown, and a clear winner emerged: Bonjour French Pastry.
This place has been around for 21 years, run by chef and owner Yuji Shiraki. Shiraki-san trained in France and Japan before opening up this place. Bonjour is a sweet, warm, lived-in little cafe. Despite the fact that these choux a la crème are made in the morning, and sit around for a bit, they are perfect. The crème is so pure and dreamy, "it's like you're dancing through the clouds, and it's downright luscious," says exilekiss.
Second place on the pure cream puff front is Patisserie Chantilly, which pipes its crème in right when you order. This leaves the pastry shell perfectly intact, not soaked and soft like Bonjour's. But still, says exilekiss, the sheer intense quality of Bonjour's filling puts it ahead.
What Chantilly's best at, though, are flavored cream puffs. Best of all: the choux aux sesame, filled with black sesame and honey cream. The filling contains a mixture of ground and whole black sesame seeds, rendering it "aromatic, intensely nutty, and silky smooth, but then you get little bits of black sesame to break up the texture. It's at once a graceful waltz and a passionate tango hitting your senses at the same time," says exilekiss.
Chowhounds advise: though Chantilly doesn't close on weekends, it runs out of cream puffs sooner on those days. Visit early to be assured a taste.
Bonjour French Pastry [South Bay]
18222 South Western Avenue, Torrance
Patisserie Chantilly [South Bay]
2383 Lomita Boulevard #104, Lomita