Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Cáfe Bassam - Downtown - San Diego - CA

Cafe Bassam, 401 Market St, San Diego, CA 92101-6932

photograph picture of the San Diego Skyline. Filed under Cafe Review, San Diego, Cáfe Bassam

Wandering around San Diego's Gaslamp District on Memorial Monday with nearly an hour to kill, we stumbled upon Cáfe Bassam.

photograph picture of the Rice logo. Filed under Filed under Cafe Review, San Diego, Cáfe Bassam



photograph picture of the Rice logo. Filed under Filed under Cafe Review, San Diego, Cáfe Bassam The first thing that strikes you when you walk throught the door into the cafe is the charming decor. What looks like some kind of antique tea urn guards the entrance. A collection of ancient guns is mounted on the wall, a old pair of grocer's scales decorate a window sill space.





photograph picture of the Rice logo. Filed under Filed under Cafe Review, San Diego, Cáfe Bassam Beyond the urn lies a large and tempting selection of loose leaf teas, each one displayed in a large glass jar. It is like walking into what you imagine a grocerery store was like over 50 years ago.




photograph picture of the Rice logo. Filed under Filed under Cafe Review, San Diego, Cáfe Bassam That feeling doesn't go away when you pay for your purchase. I loved the huge, old fashioned, crimson-red cash register crowning the counter.






photograph picture of the Rice logo. Filed under Filed under Cafe Review, San Diego, Cáfe Bassam Situated directly across the street from a Starbucks, Bassam seems to attract all the more potentially interesting looking people in San Diego. Over a large mug of coffee, you can sit outside and people watch to your heart's content. I saw one out-of-place looking family gingerly make an entrance into Bassam, before they swiftly turned around and escaped to the safety of the more corporate Starbucks. (Perhaps one of the reasons they felt out of place was that Cafe is one of those rare Californian establishments that still allows smoking inside.)

A young dude, sloppily but cooly dressed, his hair spiked as much by design as by a lively night prior, was out for coffee with his bemused, Italian-looking grandpa. The younger man's cellphone rang. Obviously a girl, and the dude stands up. "Sandra says hi", he says. Grandpa responds "I don't know Sandra, who is she?" The dude obviously needs a little privacy at this point and heads off across the street on the pretext of buying a paper. Half way across the road he turns back and calls to grandpa so the whole world can hear, "She's the nicest girl in town, grandpa."

I didn't need to check on the bathroom, but afterwards an amused Fred made a point of telling me that attached to the wall, there were no less than 9 rolls of paper to choose from.

I wonder if Sandra has paid a visit with her young beau since?

This review was a




All My San Diego Reviews:
  • Rice at the W Hotel
  • Cafe Bassam, Gas Lamp
  • Chive, Gas Lamp
  • Tartine, Coronado
  • Cafe 222, Marina District
  • Soleil @ the K
  • The Living Room & The Beach at the W


  • Other San Diego Food Bloggers:

    mmm-yoso!!!

    The local's guide to San Diego eats



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    Cáfe Bassam - Downtown - San Diego - CA

    6 Comments:

    • At 15/6/05 08:49, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      I LOVE this place too; total Euro-feel! ~ & of course the evil empire had to leech off Bassam's buz. and move in across the street a couple years ago.

       
    • At 15/6/05 10:17, Blogger Fatemeh Khatibloo-McClure said…

      Bassam was an favorite haunt when I lived in San Diego.

      Did you partake of the hookah? They have my favorite tobacco--pomegranate.

       
    • At 15/6/05 10:47, Anonymous Wendy said…

      It's good to know about this place. It reminds me of my favourite tea shop in Paris, where they bring out the large tins of tea, and open them for you to inhale the scent before you buy. Sakura was one of my favorites, light Sencha green tea mixed with cherry blossoms. Intoxicating.

      http://www.cosmopolis.ch/images/paris/sakura_2004.jpg

       
    • At 16/6/05 07:49, Blogger Sam said…

      Oh - I am glad we stumbled upon a local favourite. For us - really - there was no competition between Bassan and Starbucks.

       
    • At 17/6/05 21:16, Blogger Jennifer said…

      Thank you, thank you, thank you for spotlighting San Diego! As a former southern Californian, I always feel that San Diego doesn't receive the culinary recognition it deserves.

       
    • At 11/3/08 12:59, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      Cafe Bassam moved to the 3000 block of Fifth Street in Hillcrest. It is no longer a smoke shop... It serves wine and sandwiches now, though. It has a younger, California classy feel to it.

      It's more expensive, too.

       

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