"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.