There's been no shortage of deliciousness coming out of pop-up Marla Bakery, run by former Nopa pastry chef Amy Brown and Joe Wolf formerly of Wise Sons. But one thing that consistently stands out is baking duo's pot de cremes in various flavors. French for literally "pot of creme," it's a rich custard reminiscent of panna cotta or creme brulee without the sugar crust, and is usually pretty forgettable. Not here. The first time I had one was at the third anniversary of Pal's Takeaway -- it was chai-masala flavored, with just a hint of warming spices topped by a soothing rose and huckleberry syrup, and was startlingly good.
Yesterday I took a breather from Bay to Breakers madness to check out Marla Bakery's pop-up brunch at State Bird Provisions. Everything we ordered was tasty -- the savory leek tart with perfect flaky buttery crust, the lamb with a delicate yogurt sauce made with Middle Eastern spices, the rose and chocolate macaron. But what I'll remember is the subtle coconut pot de creme topped with a cap of intense bittersweet chocolate from Dandelion. I ate much more than my fair share because I kept sneaking back for bites when my friends weren't paying attention.
You can still catch Amy and Joe in action for one more Sunday brunch at State Bird Provisions, on May 26 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.