Azucar – A Cuban pastry shop in San Diego!

Happy New Year!  So, I was surfing yelp to find new and interesting places to try, and I stumbled upon Azucar, a Cuban-style patisserie. Since we were going to explore the Sunset Cliffs area, I thought we would make a slight detour before heading to the beach.

And I am so happy to have found you, Azucar! Azucar is like a Porto’s on a small scale with treats that can possibly rival Extraordinary Desserts. And the best part is that it is local – in Ocean Beach on Newport Avenue. Street parking may be a slight challenge and there is a slight San Diego premium added to the prices, but at least you don’t have to deal with the crazy lines and chaos that you often have to encounter when visiting Porto’s.When you step into the little cafe with lime green walls and a modern computerized menu, a glass display case of all their desserts greets you. Before we even chose out our lunch, we decided to try their Divina dessert. And it was Divine!

It had moist white chocolate cake, passion fruit curd, raspberries, and was covered with a toasted vanilla bean merengue/marshmallow. The cake was lusicious, sweet, and tart. It reminded me of the fancy cakes at Extraordinary Desserts. If you don’t like passion fruit, don’t order this cake. It’s a good thing I do! There was a generous amount of passion fruit curd in between the layers of moist white chocolate cake. The merengue/marshmallow made this cake special because it had a nice toasted caramellized flavor with visible vanilla beans. Their desserts range from $4.75 -$6.00. And they do 10″ versions of their desserts for $35-$48.

On to the food…we chose a meat pie ($1.50) and a Papa Rellena ($2.95) to start. The meat pie was great. The meat was nice and savory and the pastry was light and not too flaky. Plus, there was a slightly sweet glaze on top.

The Papa Rellena is a Cuban potato ball stuffed with ground beef filling, breaded and fried till crispy. The Papa Rellena was delicious because it came out hot – an improvement on Porto’s potato balls since theirs are served warm. Also, Azucar’s potato ball was served with a sweet tangy hot sauce. which contrasted nicely with the savory mashed potatoes and ground beef filling. The only criticism I have is that the breading on the outside of the potato ball isn’t as light as Porto’s. But all in all, it was a nice treat – mashed potatoes and meat, what’s not to love?
We had the Cubano and Berto sandwiches. The Cubano ($7.50) is a traditional pressed Cuban sandwich with slow roasted Cuban-style pork, thinly sliced ham, swiss cheese, mustard and pickles.
 
We had the Cubano sandwich at Porto’s, and I would have to say that Azucar’s version is better. The slow roasted Cuban-style pork was the main difference. It was moist and flavorful. Porto’s was not as tasty. Also, it was nice to have the mojo dipping sauce on the side because it gave the sandwich a slight garlicy zip. The plantain chips that accompanied the sandwich were better than Porto’s as well. They were saltier and very addictive.
The Berto sandwich had serrano ham, manchego cheese, arugula, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. The sandwich was good, but was nothing special. We chose to have the mixed baby greens salad with citrus vinaigrette to accompany this sandwich, which is a nice lower-carb, lighter option.
We also tried the hot chocolate ($2.75) that is made with extra dark cocoa and topped with a house-made marshmallow. The hot chocolate was good, but it would be better if it was a touch sweeter. The marshmallow was a delicious addition on top.
We can’t wait to visit Azucar again. I have my eyes on the guava and cream cheese Cuban pastry, the raspberry scone with passion fruit icing, mojito cookies, the Diablo (dark chocolate cake, chocolate mousse finished with a cocoa nib tuile), Artemisa (Cuban rum cake, malibu coconut custard, run flavored pineapple frosted with sweet cream and coconut shavings), and the key lime tart (graham cracker almond crust topped with a vanilla creme fraiche and a green polka dot shard).

Azucar, a small Ocean Beach Cuban cafe/pastry shop with delicious sandwiches/snacks and delectable sweets, is a must try!

Azucar
4820 Newport Avenue
San Diego, CA 92107
Mon-Sat: 7am-6pm
Sun: 8am-5pm
http://www.iloveazucar.com/

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