June 20, 2007

Jin Patisserie [Venice Beach]

Jin Patisserie, Prepared Two Ways

I finally made it out to Jin Patisserie yesterday and I have to say that I was completely underwhelmed. The display shelves were dirty, the bathroom smelled foul, and the place just kind of looked like it let itself go.

We came at about 4pm and were seated and brought menus promptly. After we has spent some time debating what we would get, the guy comes to take our order and tells us that the only cakes they have left are the remaining three in the case. Couldn't he have mentioned that before?? And can there seriously be only three cakes left even though theres three more hours until closing?

Anyways, we still managed to get one of our picks and had the Abbot, which was a dome of caramelized bananas covered in dark chocolate over a honey walnut sponge cake and a lavender macaroon on top. The cake was rich and tasted like a pastry form of bananas foster and the scent of lavender made for a refreshing finish. My only real complaint about the cake was its hefty $5 price tag (for a small slice of cake, even by Japanese standards), but its Abbot Kinney in Venice, so what do you expect.

I enjoyed the macaroon so much that I ordered the green tea to-go. I wasn't fond of the cream filing and unlike the lavender, this one really didn't taste like green tea at all.

Jin Patisserie bills itself as a patisserie and tea room, which conjures up images of an urban retreat of pristine cleanliness and bathrooms that smell like roses. If you came that day and saw the unhygienic-looking condensation on the display cases and caught a whiff of that NYC-metro public restroom odor, you too would have been in for quite the wake-up call.


If asked to sum up the patisserie in a single word, it'd be darling. Keep your peepers out for this tiny locale that delivers pastries and sweets that will guarantee an "Mmm..." to escape from your lips, which will be licked clean to ensure consumption of every crumb.

The high tea set consisted of two sandwiches, two scones accompanied by butter and jam, a biteful of pound cake, an assortment of desserts, and, of course, a choice of tea or coffee. The most amazing item on the plate was the homemade jam. The scones were warm and had just the right amount of crumb factor. The single piece of chocolate was incredibly smooth. The assortment presented to me included a raspberry-topped green tea mousse and red bean cake, a strawberry-topped chocolate mousse on dark chocolate ganache and cake, a bright pink number that resembled their idea of a macaroon and then my idea of a macaroon, which was sinfully delicious. The macaroons here receive astounding reviews but I found the hazelnut and passion fruit disappointing.

The Virginia ham and feta cheese quiche was accompanied by a balsamic vinaigrette salad followed by the cake of the day. The quiche had a flaky crust and the filling was deliciously warm. The salad didn't stand out but the cake was divine. The coconut mousse conjures self-reprimanding thoughts of saturated fats but they are easily chased when the tongue contacts the mango filling, which was delightfully cool.

To prolong the experience, take home a box of chocolates. At $2 a piece, they are definitely worth the bite (or two, if you are one to savor the flavor). Or try the cookies: the tangerine diamant cookies are packed with rind and utterly scrumptious.


Jin Patisserie
1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 399-8801

1 comment:

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