Cream puff chain Beard Papa needs to seriously look over its corporate shoulder at the new, family-owned Pacific Puffs
(2201 Union at Fillmore).Where Beard Papa's puffs tend to be small and limp, Pacific Puffs are considerably heftier. Just half of one is plenty satisfying, but we tried two for variety: One filled with seasonal fruit (in this case, sliced strawberries) and whipped cream, another loaded with a rich vanilla custard cream and topped with a thick smear of chocolate (each $3).
They're flaky and buttery, without being too messy and without the greasy aftertaste that BP can have. The custard filling is a clear winner over the fruit whip in terms of decadence, but if you're watching your waistline the latter might be the better choice. There are also chocolate custard cream-filled puffs, with chocolate or powdered sugar on top.