Flanked by fine dining restaurants in the fourth floor, La Boulange du Dome occupies 1,500 square feet of open floorspace directly under the Westfield Centre building’s signature historic 102 feet wide glass dome. This is the most modern and trendy looking bakery cafe branch, compared to the other 19 La Boulange Bay Area locations. High chairs surround the left counter area, while small tables and cushioned booths fill the space bordering along the edge.
Founder Pascal Rigo explained, that although the company was purchased by Starbucks, for the time being they will continue to serve Equator brand coffee.
All pastries are made fresh daily, at their production kitchen in South San Francisco. The display case featured canelé de Bordeaux, financiers, chouquettes (puff pastries), unique specialty pastry items like ice cream filled profiteroles, Three Twins ice cream sundaes, and a colorful variety of macaroon cookie sandwiches. Assorted prepackaged cookies and bottled preserves are on display next to the coffee station. The menu includes soups, salads, assorted tartines, and grilled sandwiches. Plus 8 wines by the glass or half glass.
The signature dessert is dubbed “The Dome.” It is a mini hazelnut cream version of an ice cream bombe cake, covered with Colombian dark or white chocolate.
Most visitors might not be aware of this place’s history. The original Emporium department store, built in 1896, had an open cafe and bar on this very same spot. At the time, “meet me under the dome” became a popular catchphrase in San Francisco. Similarly to how the “Top of the Mark” of the Mark Hopkins Hotel, was a common meeting place during World War II. Perhaps with this new cafe, meeting “under the dome” will once again regain usage in the local lexicon, or at least among Twitter fans.
The cafe is open daily from 10 am to 8:30 pm, Sundays until 7 pm.
Photo Credit: Luis Chong