When Fidel Castro stepped down as Cuba's president last February, he had dictatorship down to a science—it's called cooking, and outside of law enforcement, it's the only decent explanation for that country's peaceful internal co-existence. Cuban food is a sex act of the most highminded sort, the ultimate natural orgasm in a sea of fakes. Cuban entrées like octopus salad are so good, in fact, that the nation's homegrown desserts rarely get a second look, and (almost) certainly not during sex.
That's where Azucar, a Cuban-Style Patisserie, comes in. The location alone makes it stand out—it's in Ocean Beach, square in the middle of the neighborhood's vaunted concentration of bars and burger joints—and the pastries take things from there. Check out the ginger scone ($2), as tender as your ego and garnished with a heavenly ginger spread, or the Buenos Dias bundt cake ($2.75), a giant item stuffed with carrots, pineapple and walnuts. These are magnificent complements to the signature Azucar Plate ($10), which features lots of ham along with odd little things like manchego cheese and guava paste. Berries and sour cream accommodate many of the other dishes, so if you like those two in combination, you're on your way. There are sandwiches, too, along with an interesting little tidbit called a potato ball.
If Cuban-style main dishes are sex acts, Cuban-style desserts are the afterplay, and they're damn fine at it, too. To see for yourself, head for 4820 Newport Ave. between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays (you can call ahead at 619-523-2020). The experience is absolutely orgasmic—just be careful not to act out. There are statutes against things like that, even in licentious little Ocean Beach.