Lady M opens first Bay Area store in Los Altos, promptly sells out of famed crepe cakes | Peninsula Foodist | Elena Kadvany | Palo Alto Online |

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Lady M opens first Bay Area store in Los Altos, promptly sells out of famed crepe cakes

Uploaded: Dec 21, 2019
Every day since Lady M, the New York confections company known for its 20-layer crepe cakes, opened in Los Altos last weekend, the store has sold out by the early afternoon.

"We're open until 8 (p.m.) but we can't make it past 2 (p.m.)," Samuel Maldonado, who oversees retail operations for Lady M, said on Friday at the 4598 El Camino Real shop.

Lady M has hosted pop-ups in the Bay Area before, including at the neighboring Chef Chu’s restaurant, but this is its first standalone location in Northern California. Lady M said the Los Altos store will stay open through at least spring 2020.

Photo courtesy Lady M.

Lady M is best known for its vanilla mille cake, with 20 paper-thin crepes layered with a light pastry cream. The top of the delicate cake is caramelized.

Customers have been lining up for said cake shortly after the store opens in the morning, Maldonado said. On a recent afternoon, when he sold the last of the cakes, he went out to tell people at the end of the snaking line so they wouldn't waste their time.

"I warned them and they were still upset," he said.

The bakery is increasing volume daily to try to keep up with demand, he added.

Lady M will sell its cakes a 4598 El Camino Real in Los Altos, a former Peet's Coffee, through at least spring 2020. Photo by Elena Kadvany.

In Los Altos, the mille cake is also available in green tea, tiramisu and pistachio flavors. Customers can buy a whole cake (from $55 to $95, depending on the size and flavor) or slices (about $8.50-$9.50).

Beyond mille cakes, there's red velvet cake, checkered vanilla and chocolate sponge cake covered in chocolate ganache and mont blancs (chestnut puree topped with a candied chestnut). All of the cakes are made at a headquarters in San Francisco and delivered to Los Altos by a refrigerator truck daily, Maldonado said.

Lady M also serves coffee and tea.

Parked outside the Los Altos store is the company's new "luxury" cake truck, which is outfitted with 3D art and $33,500 crystal chandeliers courtesy of French company Baccarat, with which Lady M partnered on the truck. Lady M plans to tour the truck around the country as a "portable pop-up," Maldonado said. By day, customers can pre-order cakes to pick up at the truck; by night, staff will bring out tables and offer full-service dining — served on Baccarat crystal, of course.

Since its founding in 2001, Lady M has expanded globally, with more than 30 locations including on the East Coast, in Southern California, Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing.

The Los Altos bakery is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and until 7 p.m. on Sunday.
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 +   9 people like this
Posted by Eater, a resident of Mountain View,
on Dec 21, 2019 at 4:31 pm

Description of those "crepe cakes" reads a lot like a version of the standard Dobos torte (complete with pastry cream and caramelized top). Does this producer identify them as such? Or will there be a generation of people who go around thinking that this firm "invented" many-layer crepe cakes? (As with some other modern renditions of famous classic food specialties.)

 +   2 people like this
Posted by Baker, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Dec 22, 2019 at 9:14 am

I have watched how these multi layer crepe cakes are made on shows like the British Baking Show. They are a simple formula but very complex in getting the layers thin enough and just right.

I look forward to trying one at some stage.

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Downtown North,
on Dec 24, 2019 at 1:49 am

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

Good to know if was not just some millenial avoiding high rents in town

 +   4 people like this
Posted by European, a resident of Mayfield,
on Dec 24, 2019 at 3:01 pm

Pancake dough is completely different from dobos torte dough.

 +   5 people like this
Posted by European, a resident of Mayfield,
on Dec 24, 2019 at 3:02 pm

In addition Dobos torte in Europe often has frosting creme decorations on top or creme frosting smoothed on the sides.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Palo Alto native, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Jan 1, 2020 at 6:59 am

Saw the line out the door the other day. Had to read up on Lady M to learn about what all the hype was about. Interesting.

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