In the beach city of San Clemente on the corner of Calle Deshecha and East Avenida Pico about five minutes walking distance from the shore, the modest sized cafe Ellie’s Table at North Beach smells delightfully similar to a bakery. Inside, glass cases are filled with assorted pastries, savory baked goods, and a friendly, welcoming staff ready to brew coffee.
After selecting an egg and swiss croissant with an iced cafe mocha and my brother choosing a maple bacon cronut with a caramel mocha, we wait a brief few minutes for the coffees and food to be prepared. The menu is moderately priced and we’re given a number to place on our table of choice.
The croissant is a buttery, flaky, and cheesy concoction of which I imagine French croissants to taste like. The egg and swiss croissant is quite filling, more than enough for one person or a good snack for two people. The iced mocha has a strong coffee base, lots of milk, and just the right amount of chocolate flavoring to cut the bitter coffee, without tasting like fake chocolate syrup. The flaky layers of the cronut contain a mouth-watering balance of sugary maple glaze and salty bacon chunks while the sweet caramel mocha has light layer of whipped cream drizzled with caramel topping.
About the bright cafe one family-style table and smaller group tables await customers who want to sit down to chat in the slightly crowded dining area. On a wall near the cashier a sign briefly tells the origins of the cafe. “Ellie’s Table is a celebration of Eleanor Mastroianni, who’s cooking and baking skills helped turn Jay’s Catering into a true catering dynasty.” explains “Our Story” on the website.
Outside are plenty of couple tables and the ocean breeze accompanies the scenery. Should you visit on a windy day occasional leaves will fall on your table, head, and plate. While the tables can be sticky and flies prevalent, chirping birds and beautiful weather delightfully distract from less pleasant aspects of the cafe.
Overall Ellie’s Table has wonderful atmosphere, delicious food, and well brewed mochas.