We went to Café Dulce Day Two to Day Six. One reason was because we were staying in a nearby hotel within walking distance. The other reason was because it’s a great little bakery.
Café Dulce is situated in Little Tokyo, but it’s actually Korean-run, and a little more interesting than your typical Japanese or Korean bakery. All the baked goods are made in-house, and most are a twist on a regional classic.
For example, they have churros, but not the long, skinny Spanish numbers you may be familiar with. The Koko Churro ($1.50) was fat and stout with a crusty cinnamon-dusted exterior and a chewy interior as a result of sweet rice flour. It won’t satisfy a traditional churro craving, but it’ll fulfill all your chewy, crunchy, cinnamony desires.
David is a huge fan of roti buns (a Malaysian version of Mexican coffee buns) since he first had them at Rotiboy in Seoul a few years back, so he was pretty stoked to see them at Café Dulce. The Roti Bun ($3.25) at Café Dulce, however, was more of a empty roti shell with no innards, which I thought David would like better since he doesn’t like squishy bread, but he said he preferred the buns at Rotiboy because they’re served hot. (The roti bun at Cafe Dulce was room temperature.) I suspect though, like me, he might have missed the warm melted butter on the inside. Regardless, he still talks about the roti bun from Café Dulce fondly. A roti bun, even if not from Rotiboy, is better than no roti bun at all.
David claims the roti bun was his favorite, but considering the number of times he went back to Café Dulce for the Coconut Butter S’mores ($1.25 each), I’d beg to differ. These were one of my favorites too so I had no complaints. I liked the crunch of the coconut butter cookies with the sweet chew of the marshmallow filling. It was a nice contrast. And even if there wasn’t any chocolate in the mix, I was always happy to have s’more (har har).
The Homemade Chocopie ($2.50) was also very good. I used to love chocopies as a child, and I still do (although I can’t eat too many now without feeling a little gross) so these brought back good childhood memories. I think the cookie/cake part could have been softer and thinner so it resembled chocopies more, but the taste was pretty spot on, and to boot, there were no ill post-noshing effects.
The Green Tea Donut ($2.50) is Café Dulce’s bestseller, but personally, I wasn’t a fan. I liked the strong green tea flavor of the doughnut, but I wasn’t crazy about the vanilla buttercream filling. It’s a watery cream that’s prone to breaking, and as a result, on two occasions I bought the doughnut, it was soggy to the bite.
A much better bet was the Bacon Donut ($2.50), a light, fluffy doughnut glazed with sugar icing and covered with crisp bacon pieces. It was the best breakfast doughnut possible; sweet, salty, and savory all in one bite, and regrettably, gone all too soon.
I’ll be back to Café Dulce on my next trip, whether I stay in the area or not.