Riffing on a Pan-Med Theme

Cafe Chaise offers jazz and a Mediterranean spin on its French-California fare

One stunning dessert among several fine ones: the mocha pot de creme ($4.50), a modest ramekin filled with a celestial chocolate-coffee custard that wasn't too sweet. It was just as good, if not as big, as a similar invention I'd had at Forty-Two Degrees; we demolished the first and immediately ordered another. Just to leave no doubt about the scope of our indulgence, the kitchen finished the dish with a hefty dollop of whipped cream.

As we left, a cable car rumbled by, with hungry-looking people dangling from it. I waved encouragingly -- Come on in! -- but the car disappeared before I could add the necessary caveat: Bring your own salt.

Cafe Chaise, 1556 Hyde, S.F., 775-5556. Mon-Thurs 6-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 6-11 p.m.

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