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Eyeing the fine lines of Hommage Bakehouse

Laminated pastries and daily breads have never been better in Pacific Beach

Refined layers of laminated dough are evident in this Homage Bakehouse croissant
Refined layers of laminated dough are evident in this Homage Bakehouse croissant

If you’d happened to pass by Pacific Beach restaurant La Clochette du Coin last week, you might have spotted me, leaning over a sidewalk table, paying unusually close attention to a ham and cheese croissant.

Place

Hommage Bakehouse at La Clochette du Coin

4680 Cass St., San Diego

A sprinkle of both white and black sesame seeds graced the top, and a bit of melted cheese had seeped out of one end, browning to a satisfying crisp as it baked. But what had captured my attention — my admiration really — were the well-defined ridges swirling at the edge of the pastry, revealing what thin, delicate layers of laminated dough had been rolled out in it's assembly. I’ve eaten scores of ham and cheese croissants, at home and abroad, and they’ve usually seemed almost a bakery afterthought, an easy sell to morning customers’ meat and cheese cravings. Never this visual evidence of the discipline behind making them.

Sponsored
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Staring at a ham and cheese croissant

It's but one of many fine products created by The French-styled café’s in-house bakery, a distinctly branded entity dubbed Hommage Bakehouse. And those laminated ridges look even more impressive when staring down the business end of Hommage’s plain croissant ($4.50).

Laminating dough starts with sandwiching a sheet of butter between slabs of dough, then rolling it flat, folding, then rolling and folding again until you’re left with surprisingly thin layers alternating butter and dough. It’s the buttery in-between layers that give rise to a croissant’s famed airiness, and more than most breadmaking endeavors, its quality is tied to mastery of technique.

Homage baked goods are served at the café counter at La Clochette du Coin

The refined layers being produced by Hommage speak to the skills of Justin Gaspar, a Northern California native who brings to San Diego both baking education and professional experience, helping his work stand out, even in a town that’s witnessed significant breadmaking strides in recent years.

Among the Hommage baked goodies I devoured on that sidewalk, and later at home, were an everything bagel ($4.25) ; a spinach and artichoke filled answer to the hot pocket ($5.50), and a kouign amman ($6, sounds like kween uh-man), another laminated pastry that can be thought of as a sugar-sweetened croissant, or as a baked precursor of the cronut. Mine was dressed with pear and rosemary jam.

A variety of baked goods, including (front to back) bagel, croissant, monkey bread, and kouign amman.

There was a lot to like about everything I tried, both in terms of textures and flavors, and I would suggest that, if you’re going to buy any pastries from the counter at Clochette du Coin, buy enough to share — anybody who sees you eating these things are going to want their own.

But I would also suggest visiting the shop between Thursday and Monday. Hommage bakes sourdough loaves ($9) and baguettes daily, but only during that half of the week does it offer its seeded baguette ($6). Baked with a combination of sesame, poppy, and sunflower seeds, this baguette turned out to be one of the best I’ve ever come across, and would stand up to a majority of Paris boulangeries.

A seeded baguette

I finished most of it in one sitting, and didn’t even reach for any butter. I was just a guy eating a plain loaf of bread for lunch, and calling it his best meal of the week. Which maybe isn’t as weird as a guy on the sidewalk, staring at his ham and cheese croissant ($5.50), but I’ll give an unreserved two thumbs up to any baked good that can inspire a moment of appreciation.

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Refined layers of laminated dough are evident in this Homage Bakehouse croissant
Refined layers of laminated dough are evident in this Homage Bakehouse croissant

If you’d happened to pass by Pacific Beach restaurant La Clochette du Coin last week, you might have spotted me, leaning over a sidewalk table, paying unusually close attention to a ham and cheese croissant.

Place

Hommage Bakehouse at La Clochette du Coin

4680 Cass St., San Diego

A sprinkle of both white and black sesame seeds graced the top, and a bit of melted cheese had seeped out of one end, browning to a satisfying crisp as it baked. But what had captured my attention — my admiration really — were the well-defined ridges swirling at the edge of the pastry, revealing what thin, delicate layers of laminated dough had been rolled out in it's assembly. I’ve eaten scores of ham and cheese croissants, at home and abroad, and they’ve usually seemed almost a bakery afterthought, an easy sell to morning customers’ meat and cheese cravings. Never this visual evidence of the discipline behind making them.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Staring at a ham and cheese croissant

It's but one of many fine products created by The French-styled café’s in-house bakery, a distinctly branded entity dubbed Hommage Bakehouse. And those laminated ridges look even more impressive when staring down the business end of Hommage’s plain croissant ($4.50).

Laminating dough starts with sandwiching a sheet of butter between slabs of dough, then rolling it flat, folding, then rolling and folding again until you’re left with surprisingly thin layers alternating butter and dough. It’s the buttery in-between layers that give rise to a croissant’s famed airiness, and more than most breadmaking endeavors, its quality is tied to mastery of technique.

Homage baked goods are served at the café counter at La Clochette du Coin

The refined layers being produced by Hommage speak to the skills of Justin Gaspar, a Northern California native who brings to San Diego both baking education and professional experience, helping his work stand out, even in a town that’s witnessed significant breadmaking strides in recent years.

Among the Hommage baked goodies I devoured on that sidewalk, and later at home, were an everything bagel ($4.25) ; a spinach and artichoke filled answer to the hot pocket ($5.50), and a kouign amman ($6, sounds like kween uh-man), another laminated pastry that can be thought of as a sugar-sweetened croissant, or as a baked precursor of the cronut. Mine was dressed with pear and rosemary jam.

A variety of baked goods, including (front to back) bagel, croissant, monkey bread, and kouign amman.

There was a lot to like about everything I tried, both in terms of textures and flavors, and I would suggest that, if you’re going to buy any pastries from the counter at Clochette du Coin, buy enough to share — anybody who sees you eating these things are going to want their own.

But I would also suggest visiting the shop between Thursday and Monday. Hommage bakes sourdough loaves ($9) and baguettes daily, but only during that half of the week does it offer its seeded baguette ($6). Baked with a combination of sesame, poppy, and sunflower seeds, this baguette turned out to be one of the best I’ve ever come across, and would stand up to a majority of Paris boulangeries.

A seeded baguette

I finished most of it in one sitting, and didn’t even reach for any butter. I was just a guy eating a plain loaf of bread for lunch, and calling it his best meal of the week. Which maybe isn’t as weird as a guy on the sidewalk, staring at his ham and cheese croissant ($5.50), but I’ll give an unreserved two thumbs up to any baked good that can inspire a moment of appreciation.

Sponsored
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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