Napoleon Bakery

April 2006 Dirt Cheap Eats

Owner and baker Chong Cho claims not to have slept for two months after taking over this French-accented Korean bakery, formerly known as Le Matin de Paris, last year. His diligence can be tasted in the impeccable pastries he bakes every day. Fill a wicker basket with manju–soft, briochelike breads filled with lightly sweetened pastes of red, white, green, or mocha bean ($1.35). Korean pastries, like Napoleon's croissant ($1.50), are good news for the calorie conscious: They rely less on butter than their Western counterparts. A healthy treat for two is the thinly iced mugwort custard cake ($3.95), which tastes of (and looks like) green tea. The staff will happily guide you through the unfamiliar goodies.