The last night of our June trip to California was spent in Oceanside, a small beach town in northern San Diego County, visiting friends. The following morning, I decided on a whim to search for a French patisserie, or pastry shop. Perhaps I was in the mood for something like Tartine, a corner bakery in San Francisco’s Mission District that I make it a point to visit each time I’m there. We ended up driving a quirky route through the hills until we wound up at Loïc, a bistro and patisserie in Rancho Santa Fe.
The bistro and patisserie are adjacent buildings nestled in a small shopping complex at the foot of a large housing development. The design is meant to evoke an Italian village, which it more or less succeeds in doing.
Would an Italian village have a parking lot like this? Probably not. Just a small concession to Southern California’s car culture.
The interior of the patisserie was a little stark but the smell and sight of freshly baked goods were every bit as welcoming as the lady working behind the counter.
As we ordered, the lady explained that the chef is French. After several years working aboard cruise ships, he decided to settle in the Rancho Santa Fe area and open his own restaurant and patisserie.
We sat in some comfy chairs, sipped our café au lait, and picked apart our croissants, smearing eat bite with jam and pretending we were back in Paris. The croissants were very nice: light, flaky, and buttery – everything one wants in a croissant.
Afterwards, we took a few more pictures then climbed back in the car for our drive back to Orange County, where we met another Xangan for lunch.