We'll always love the Gypsy Den because...well, it's the pinche Gypsy Den, as essential to OC Weekly identity as Bob Dornan and bashing the GOP. But let's be honest: for the past couple of years, the Den has rested a bit much on its reputation for good veggie eats, better coffee, and a slab of carrot cake that looks like a cutaway view of Mt. Everest. The menu didn't change for years, and the specials were few and far in-between.
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But in the past couple of weeks, owner Emily Meyer has found a new wind. She now offers a Sunday vegan/vegetarian brunch (complete with mimosas!) at the SanTana location and has introduced an apple croissant tart that I have eaten five of in the past seven days.
It takes the classic, airy Gypsy Den croissant, sprinkles granules of sugar on top, then bakes it with a orchard of apple slices--a tart, sure, but as homey as an apple pie. Last time I went, they were giving out samples of another tart, this one spiked with strawberry cream version even better than the apple tart. Congrats, Gypsy Den: you're back to show the coming pretenders how to keep us fed and hip.