Address: Westfield Centre, 4th Level, 865 Market Street, #499
Cuisine: French bakery and pastry
Date Last Visited: June 18, 2007
Under the rotunda of the Westfield Shopping Centre is Cocola, a patisserie and boulangerie. I would pass by and think to myself, “This is way too shi-shi for me.” I mean, sacre bleu! Je n’ais sais qua. Je ne suis pas riche or sophisticated. Yes, I took French for four years, and I seem to have forgotten everything. The only thing I know how to say is, “Je m’appelle Joanne, et j’habite dans Daly City.” And I don’t even know if that is 100% correct.
Anyhow, one day I just decided to go in there because it is so pretty. It really feels like a Parisian café. Granted I have never been to Paris, but I could imagine it feeling like this. I could just sit here and watch people, but I knew I had to buy something there in order to have a seat in there.
I went to the counter and looked over the salads, sandwiches, desserts and pastries. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to eat a sandwich or just skip that and splurge on a fancy-shmancy dessert. I would have gotten a dessert, but I did NOT eat anything at all that day. Plus they were on the pricy side, averaging about 6 dollars each dessert. I was planning on eating dinner in the City as well, so I didn’t want to spend all my money on a little thing.
I must have been standing there looking clueless for 5 minutes. Everything looked so good! By that point, I had to order something because the lady behind the counter must have come to me twice asking if I needed any help. I knew for sure that I wanted something hearty, so I decided on a sandwich. I saw that the price was about 9 dollars for each, so I skipped on the sides because I thought that it would add onto the price. But they did have great-looking potato salad and other types that made my mouth salivate.
So finally, I ordered the Roasted Chicken sandwich. It came to just under 10 dollars. Yeah, this would usually not be something I would but since I am always on a budget, but since I was already there…
While I was waiting, I looked around and realized how CHARMING it was. It really was very Francais. The tables and chairs were tiled with country-theme decorations and there was a beautiful chandelier in the middle of the dining area.
My order is called and I see that a side of salsa is added to the order. This was a pleasant surprise because I didn’t know that the sandwich came with anything. There was a menu with the sandwiches and the suggested sides, but I didn’t think that the side would come with it. But the price apparently is for both the sandwich and salad. Awesomeness.
I got to my seat and saw what I had in front of me. The sandwich actually had some of the salsa on top of it, so maybe that’s why they suggested the salsa to go along with it. The chicken was set on a nice and crunchy French baguette. When I saw that, I knew I had picked the right sandwich. I have a love affair with French crusty bread.
Then I took my first bite. Oh my goodness. That bread is so crunchy on the outside, but soft inside. It was not doughy on the inside at all. I hate doughy breads because you tell that it was not baked thoroughly. I can honestly say, that was the best French baguette sandwich I EVER had. The bread is the star, I think.
Okay, okay. The chicken was great too. It was drizzled with some type of lemon vinaigrette. It was so good. The chicken was all white meat, but it was not dried out at all. It was succulent and moist, just the way I like it.
When I first saw the salsa salad that it came with, I was almost turned off. I thought it was like a Mexican salsa, like a pico de gallo, but this French salsa was so different. It was made with tomato, of course, onions, celery and herbs. When you have a fresh stalk of celery, it almost has a spicy quality to it. They didn’t add extra peppers to it like an ordinary Mexican salsa. The celery had enough of it. I was pleasantly surprised how mild and refreshing it was because when I saw “salsa” on the menu, I thought it would be overly-spicy, but that was not the case. I really enjoyed it.
So would I come back. This is not a place I would go everyday because I’m simply too poor for it. But if I am in the area up there, I wouldn’t mind stopping by to have a dessert or another sandwich. I heard some customers order a tri-tip, and that sounds so good. =) I will be sure to have it on the French baguette because it is to die for! I would recommend it because it is an escape from the normal San Francisco environment. I can seriously just sit there with a coffee drink and read…it was so relaxing.