San Francisco has done it again with the 'sushi croissant' -- here's what it's like

First, the “sushi burrito” took over San Francisco.

Now, a flaky pastry stuffed with smoked salmon, seaweed, ginger, and wasabi — a “sushi croissant”  — is capturing the hearts of those brave enough to try it.

The sushi-stuffed pastry comes from the creative minds of 
Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, a bakery in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district that’s famous for its hybrid desserts and drool-worthy Instagram feed. The bakery calls the pastry a “California croissant,” in honour of its sister, the California roll.

We visited the kitchen of Mr. Holmes Bakehouse to see how it comes together. 

Brittany Dunn, a pastry chef at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, says it took her a week to try the bakery's 'California croissant' after she was hired. 'That sounds awful,' she remembers thinking.

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It turned out to be love at first bite. The California croissant has since become Dunn's favourite item on the menu at Bakehouse, which is known for its popular 'cruffin' (a croissant-muffin hybrid).

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Before we gave the California croissant a taste, Dunn led us into the kitchen to see how the pastry is made. The chef piped a stripe of wasabi along the pastry's edge.

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'It looks like a lot,' Dunn said. But the heat of the wasabi burns off in the oven.

The dough is made by hand over the course of three days. 'It takes a lot of butter -- very, very good butter,' Dunn said, laying down a sheet of seaweed.

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Next, Dunn piled on pickled ginger and Norwegian smoked salmon. 'We don't like to skimp around here -- get as much guilty pleasure as you can shove in there,' she said.

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Then we were ready to roll. Dunn picked up the widest part of the pastry and folded it over itself, careful to keep the pointed end centered so the croissant would bake evenly.

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The croissants get a sprinkling of salt, sesame seeds, and crumbled seaweed. They bake for about 20 minutes until they turn 'poofy' and golden brown.

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Voilà! Now, for the taste test ...

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I went in from the side on my first bite. The pastry crunched on the outside, and flaked into soft and airy pieces on the inside. I lost myself in the croissant's golden ridges.

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The smoked salmon and seaweed exploded with salty, savoury flavour. I managed to fit a bit of sushi into every nibble. But I wouldn't say it tasted like sushi. ...

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The California croissant was more reminiscent of a bagel with lox than a sushi roll. It was the first time I had ever thought to myself, 'Hmm, I wish this tasted fishier.'

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Still, I devoured it. If bagels and lox are your jam, you will love Mr. Holmes Bakehouse's crazy Frankenpastry. The San Francisco location sells up to 100 on a given weekend day.

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The California croissant sells for about $5.

Paying a visit might be worth it just for the Instagram opportunity.

Photo: @hae_1010/Instagram

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