Best Bakery for Everything Else - 2003
Easily overlooked in the Russian Plaza strip mall, the oddly named, unassuming California Bakery does things with pastry that should probably be illegal, they're so good. Operating primarily for the benefit of the local ex-pat Eastern European community, this bakery stocks many baked goods you'll never see at your run-of-the-mill neighborhood spot. Fortunately, since all of the wares are right there staring you in the face, all you have to do is pick something that looks good and point. Among the don't-miss items: little horns filled with light-as-air pastry cream, dark and powerful tiramisu, flaky, layered squares of dough and sweet sabayon, and the absolute best piroshkis we've ever tasted.