Paris Baguette

Overall Rating: 7.650

Address: 383 University Ave.
Cross Street(s): Waverley St.
City, State ZIP: Palo Alto, CA 94301
Phone: 650.838.0404
Hours: M-Th 7am-9pm; F-Sa 7am-10pm; Su 8am-9pm
Type of Establishment: Bakery (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 8.00
Barista: 8
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 8
Presentation: 8
Consistency: Consistent
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 7.30
Aroma: 7
Body: 7
Brightness: 7
Crema: 7
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 1.5
Size: L
Primary Taste: Warming
Coffee Beans: Ritual Coffee Roasters
Cup Manufacturer: ACF
Price: $2.75
Last Update: 08/02/2013
First Reviewed: 10/06/2011
Notes: Coffee Sales; Outdoor Seating

There's something freakishly wrong and obscene with this latest installment of a growing Korean-owned national chain of French-themed bakeries with locations in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Santa Clara, and now Palo Alto (and nearly 3,000 shops worldwide). From the outside, it glows like a gaudy Vegas casino. On the inside (casino mirrors aside), it consists of stacks and stacks of self-service baked goods to be pinched by passersby armed with wax paper and tongs. And the unfortunate "lost in translation" thoughts spring to mind when a Korean-owned French bakery tries to make good coffee - as if the coffee in Paris was ever any good. Yet despite its gaudy flaws and cultural mistranslations, the coffee service here manages to be some of the best in Palo Alto. There's heavy Ritual Roasters branding and a shiny, three-group La Marzocco GB/5 at the counter. They even offer Hario V60 pour-overs. They pull shots with an even, medium brown crema in black ACF cups. It has a basic warming flavor of spice and some herbs, and the coffee has the potential to be much better than it is - but it is still quite decent. They also offer healthy milk-frothing and latte art for milk-based drinks. While there's some sidewalk café seating in front, there are also clumsy, long, marble-topped tables beneath tall glass windows indoors.