Category: Sweets in LA

Top 10 Sweets of 2016

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This year was filled with so much sweetness it was hard to narrow down a few of the best. I ate cake by the ocean, I devoured my weight in soft serve, I enjoyed new delicious donuts, and so much more. I traveled to new places this year and spent so much time on the road at points it even felt like I was hardly ever home. Along the way I enjoyed some memorable desserts that made 2016 one sweet year!

Here are ten of my favorite confections of the year:

fullsizerender I went to Sydney Australia for the first time this year to visit my good friends that were living there at the time. Beyond what seems like endless beautiful beaches, Sydney has an awesome dessert scene. From my 10 days there it was clear that Sydney was just like me — this city had a major sweet tooth! They have artisan ice cream, nouveau soft serve, elevated lamingtons, pastries galore, and tons of doughnuts. Doughnut Time not only makes small batch, hand-dipped doughnuts, they also have an array of douhgnut shakes. Why have just a doughnut when you can have a milkshake too!

 

fullsizerender_2I know Sidecar Doughnuts opened in LA at the end of last year, but having it even closer than before has been a game changer this year. Now what used to be an occasional special treat has become a monthly pilgramage. I still love their classics like butter salt, but I come in monthly to check out their specials. Sidecar remains my favorite doughnut in the U.S.!

 

fullsizerender_3Being a native Angeleno I have been to Univeral Studios more times than I can count. It has been fun seeing how it has evolved and how the rides and space have changed. This year I got myself an annual pass because: it’s an easy trip to get there, Harry Potter (duh!), and so that I can make donut runs. Yes, I’m not even kidding about the donut run thing. In the Simpsons area of the park there are so many fun themed treats, my favorite of which is Lard Lad Donuts. Despite it being amusement park food, these donuts are legit. They come in regular sized and extra large, the later of which is like a big cake with tons of frosting. For added indulgence walk across the way to Phineas Q. Butterfat’s Ice Cream Parlor and you can get a donut sundae!

 

fullsizerender_5I have a confession to make, I’m not a huge chocolate lover. I’m super picky about it and it’s not often my first choice when ordering dessert. With that said, the chocolate treats aboard Princess Cruises may have changed my chocolate views. In partnership with Norman Love, Princess Cruises offers an exclusive Chocolate Journeys program available onboard fleetwide. There are different chocolate treats at various dining spots on board like this soft serve (which was limitless I may add). My favorites were the select artfully designed deserts available after dinner. This fun and unique offering was one sweet perk of cruising with Princess.

 

fullsizerender-10I visited Scottsdale this Fall to explore their culinary scene. I did not know what to expect having only passed through the Phoenix area in the past. Not only is this city gorgeous, it is bursting with delicious food. From farmers market sweets stalls to fine dining restaurants to holel dining, this is a city that likes to eat. I enjoyed checking out the local flavor from chocolateirs, olive oil producers that make sweets too, heritage grain farmers, bakeshops, and one of the best ice cream shops – Sweet Republic. They have been in the game since 2008 churning artisan ice cream with milk from local dairies in classic and unique flavors. It was so hard to choose, but I opted for a Toffee Banofi sundae. Go big or go home right?

 

fullsizerender-9 While in the Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California this October our group enjoyed what for me was one of the best meals I enjoyed this year. It was at Traslomitas, the restaurant attached to the Lomita Winery. I’ve been to the Valle a few times in the past, but somehow each visit I missed Lomita. For what seems like a relatively small place there is seems to be so much to eat and drink. If you make a trip to the Valle de Guadalupe make sure this is on your list and make a reservation at Traslomita. The cooking her is phenomenal set right outdoors next to the winery. And while it may be difficult, save room for dessert because the treats here are GOOD! Pictured dulce de leche banana pudding with fresh whipped cream and toasted pistachios it was gone in 30 secs it was perfection.

 

fullsizerender-8A little over a year ago I took a flight up to San Franscisco for the day because I wanted to try Mr. Holmes Bakehouse’s famed cruffin that I had been seeing all over Instagram. I’m crazy about my desserts and LA to SF was a short flight. So I take the flight, but I didnt’ get said cruffin becuase they had sold out! So i made my way back to San Francisco this year and finally got a cruffin. They I got a few donuts, a croissant, and a pop tart too. The story doesn’t end there. After getting myself back to San Francisco and finally getting that cruffin, Mr.Holmes Bakehouse opened a location in Highland Park a mere 25 minutes away from me just a month later. So I didn’t need to fly back but cest la vie, now I can have Mr. Holmes whenever I please.

 

fullsizerender_6Right after my trip to Australia I went on my first ever cruise. It was a Viking Cruise through Provence and the Rhone Valley in France. Lucky for me I was with the best ever travel companions Krista and Aida. Together we ate our way through every market, hall,boulangerie, and patisserie we could find. My favorite of which was Baking Company Avignon. The quaint shop is tucked away down one of the many tiny winding streets in this provencial town. They have pastries, macarons, and merignues here that are perfect on the go while you are exploring the sites.

 

fullsizerender_1After that trip to France I was lucky enough to get to explore Spain’s Basque country with my best friends. We started in Bilbao for a few days, got a car and drove along the coast. While I loved each of our stops, Bilbao was my favorite and my favorite sweet find in this city were these outrageously gorgeous Carolinas. Carolinas are typical pastries found northern in Spain, specifically Bilbao. They consist of a tart made of puff pastry or pastry filled with cream or coconut cake, and a generous pompadour of meringue. If you are in Bilbao and seek these out, go to Pasteleria Suiza for the good stuff.

 

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When in Rome, don’t miss Pasticceria Regoli. One of the oldest pastry shops in the city, thier sweets still sell out daily. They are known for their maritozzi, a sweet bun topped with heavy whipped cream, which makes a perfect breakfast with a cappuccino at the counter. Cross over to the take-away side of the shop and you’ll be amazed at the variety of beautiful pastries and cakes.

Best Thanksgiving Pies in LA

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I don’t know about you, but to me that means PIE PIE PIE! In Los Angeles we are lucky to have a lot of great places to pick up whole pies for our Thanksgiving celebrations. Most of them have the classic pumpkin, pecan or apple pies and a lot of them have fun alternations like cider roasted apple pie, squash pie with coconut whipped cream, and toasted marshmallow spiced pumpkin.

I’m ready for pie, are you? Below are some great places to pick up your Thanksgiving pie no matter where you are in the city (click on the location name to be directed to their menu)!

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Sweet of the Week | Ube Cake from Goldilocks Bakeshop & Restaurant

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Let’s talk about ube. Ube cake to be specific. If you are not familiar ube is a Filipino purple yam and it is commonly found in Filipino desserts. Back in the day of my Filipino food truck, the Manila Machine, you could enjoy our ube cupcakes. It is hard to believe that that was six years ago already, but I’m so excited to see my favorite purple sweet treat getting so much mainstream love these days. If you ask me ube is definitely the new matcha! There I said it, it’s out in the universe now let’s make it a thing.

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One of my go to spots for ube cake (when I’m not baking it myself) is Goldilocks Bakeshop & Restaurant. They have been in the ube cake game for 50 years. Their ube tres leches, or the Ubelicious as they call it, is my go-to of the ube cakes they offer. It has a nice richness from the custardy bottom. Now you have your weekend dessert plans made for you – go get yourself some ube cake, they have locations in Carson and Cerritos!

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Best Ice Cream Shops in Los Angeles

Happy National Ice Cream Day! In celebration I’ve got a list of some of my favorite ice cream shops in Los Angeles. What better way to celebration everyone’s favorite frozen treat than by heading out and enjoying a scoop (or two).

This story was originally publish on Citizine.tv you can check it out there as well!

Carmela

LA seems to have a trend in seasonally specific ice cream flavors across it’s ice cream shops, but who can blame us we have great produce. Carmela is just such a purveyor who uses farm fresh ingredients and often sells at local farmers markets from their cute retro ice cream truck and at specialty food shops around the city. Their crowd favorite is the fresh mint with cacao nibs. As far as fresh mint ice creams go, this one it the tops.

Honeymee

Honeymee in Koreatown serves soft and creamy ‘true milk’ ice cream (but really soft serve). They use fresh California milk to create the perfect milk ice cream. The classic topping is raw honey and/or honeycomb that comes from a local certified bee farm. True milk soft serve plus honey, it sounds simple enough, but it is in that simplicity that it shines. It is truly an addictive sweet treat. If you want to have even more fun with it they offer the Babee, which is the true milk soft serve drizzled in honey and served in a sweet bun. Think of it as the hot dog of ice creams.

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Los Angeles is very much an ice cream or gelato shop kind of town, you don’t often find soft serve available or stand alone soft serve locations. Magpies in Silverlake is changing that. The recently opened shop is already pleasing crowds with their soft serve made from scratch. Their small opening menu includes only seven flavors like strawberry rhubarb and malted milk chocolate, along with housemade toppings.

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McConnell’s, the Santa Barbara darling with locations in Grand Central Market and now Studio City, churns small batch ice cream using milk and cream from their own creamery. Their ice creams as rich and creamy and leave you wanting more. They use quality locally sourced and organic ingredients in their ice creams. Their flavors range from classic to seasonally specific. They are deliciously modern yet homey. Even if it is just a taste, be sure to their sea salt cookies and cream it is one of my favorites!

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Sweet Rose Creamery, now with five locations from Santa Monica to Mid-City, offers amazing farmers’ market inspired ice cream crafted by co-owner and chef Shiho Yoshikawa. With seasonal flavors like Summer corn and stone fruit sorbet, you will question whether you are eating ice cream or the fruits/vegetables themselves. They also have a solid selection of classic flavors that are always available like vanilla, salted caramel, and fresh mint.

Salt&StrawPint

Salt & Straw, a Portland transplant that already has three shops in Los Angeles, (Larchmont, Venice, Studio City) is quickly becoming a neighborhood favorite and developing a cult following comparable to their following in PDX. Their menu plays heavily on community. They partner with local artisans for ingredients to craft unique ice cream flavors like their Stumptown Coffee and Compartes Love Nuts flavor. Another very special aspect to the Salt & Straw menu is head ice cream maker Tyler Malek’s monthly rotating lineup of flavors inspired by the seasons. While they offer classic flavors (with a twist of course) like sea salt caramel ribbon, they get inventive with ingredients and pairings offering things like Avocado & Strawberry Sherbet or Strawberry with Cilantro Lime Cheesecake.

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Given where you live in LA, you likely have a Scoops you are not terribly far from. Each location serves a rotating selection of creative flavors and often take customer suggestions. Scoops Westside, my personal favorite have fun offerings like red velvet rocky road or chai kahlua. However, there is one constant between the locations, and my personal favorite flavor, brown bread. There is not bread it this, the nutty deliciousness comes from a healthy serving of Grape Nuts. I can’t help but order a scoop every time I visit.

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Tucked away in Sierra Madre in what feels like a small town shopping center is Mother Moo Creamery. Karen Klemens hand crafts some incredible ice cream here using organic Strauss cream and milk. The flavors are decadent and rich and the selection small, which makes the ordering process a little easier. While you may want one scoop of everything, may I suggest her Organic Cornflakes flavor. It takes like childhood mornings in ice cream form.

BennettsIceCream

This Original Farmer’s Market family owned old-fashioned ice cream stand, Bennett’s Ice Cream, has been serving customers since 1946. It definitely has a nostalgic look and taste with thick and almost chewy ice cream. While they have inventive flavors like cabernet savignon, I always stick with the classics like butter pecan or rainbow sherbet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet of the Week | McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams

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I don’t need an excuse to eat ice cream, especially with Los Angeles having ice cream weather practially year round. BUT, when one of my favorite ice cream shops releases new summer flavors, that is reason enough to get in my car and head on down. Run don’t walk, these flavors are so good. And this month is National Ice Cream month, so even more reason to eat all the ice cream.

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The new summer flavors include Pistachio Amaretto (my personal favorite of the bunch), Summer Fruit Cobbler, and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter. They also have a Summer Pie Shake and some awesome ice cream sammies – Summer Fruit Cobbler Ice Cream with Vanilla Gooey Butter Cookies Raspberry Lingonberry Sauce and Pistachio Amaretto Ice Cream with Sweet Corn Sugar Cookies.

McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams
12075 Ventura Place 
Studio City, 91604

 

 

Sweet of the Week | Pompompurin x Plan Check x Chococat

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If you are a Sanrio fan, this is sweet deal is for you! Plan Check Kitchen + Bar and Sanrio are teaming up once again – this time to feature Pompompurin and Chococat. Plan Check and Sanrio have partnered on an exclusive menu promotion to celebrate the characters’ 20th anniversaries. Pompompurin is a laid back Golden Retriever with a talent for napping and Chococat is a boy cat with a chocolate nose who is a little scatterbrained at times. (check out more info and cute pics below)

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Sweet of the Week | Tres Leches Birthday Cake Trois Familia

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Cake cake cake cake cake… and it’s not even my birthday! Well it almost is my birthday and my blog birthday so in honor of both this week’s Sweet of the Week is the mind-blowingly delicious tres leches birthday cake from Trois Familia in Silverlake. Not only is it perfectly soaked in sweetned condensed milk with a nice crumb, but it is chock full of rainbow sprinkles uping the fun factor of the cake. Now I’ve had many cakes in my life and I have to say as far as cakes go this cake is one hundred! Run don’t walk to enjoy a slice. And if you are lucky like me you may even get a birthday candle too.

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Added bonus was Chef Ludo himself helping me capture the perfect french vanilla waterfall on his churro french toast that I enjoyed as second dessert!

Trois Familia 3510 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Sweet of the Week | E.P L.P Chocolate Ginger Honey Crunch

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E.P. L.P. in West Hollywood is a super stylish and sleek spot for great rooftop drinks and great Southeast Asian food, but what you may not know is that it is a great spot for delicious desserts! Pastry chef Zen Ong just rolled out a really inventive new Spring dessert selection, incorporating his own Indonesian/Australian culinary background and influences into the menu.

The Chocolate Ginger Honey Crunch with Valrhona milk chocolate EP honeycomb, and crystallized ginger is a play on an Aussie fave the Crunchie Bar. It is all parts delicious and paired with their EP&J a twist on a classic American PB&J in roasted white chocolate candy form, you’ve got a perfect dessert. Looking for something on the lighter side? Don’t miss their EP Sweetie Pineapple Cloud with vanilla tofu, melon ice, nutta de coca, pineapple sorbet, and kaffir lime leaf.

603 N LA CIENEGA BOULEVARD
CROSS-STREET: MELROSE AVE
WEST HOLLYWOOD
EPLOSANGELES.COM
PH. 310 855 9955

Sweet of the Week | Wolf LA Chocolate Cake

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Wolf is the newly opened restaurant from chef Marcel Vigneron on Melrose Ave. in Los Angeles. The menu features seasonal Los Angeles cuisine made from locally – sourced ingredients. Beyond the amazing savories is a swoon-worthy dessert menu. They have a Blueberry Souffle with violet ice cream that is melt in your mouth good. I didn’t get a chance to try the Roasted Banana with maple whip, peanut tuile and cacao, but the Not Your Grandma’s Chocolate Cake was heavenly. It is topped with gianduia ice cream, candied hazenuts and gold and is essentially a refined cake version of ferrero rochers!

Wolf is open for dinner Tuesday–Thursday from 6pm – 10pm, and Friday—Saturday from 6pm – 11pm.
7661 Melrose Ave. CA 90046.

 

Happy Pi Day!

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It’s March 14th so you know what that means – Pi Day!

I know this is really in reference to this pi π. not the tasty sweet treat kind, but hey I’m all about the sweeter side of life and we’ll take any excuse to enjoy a slice of pie. Are you with me?

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I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite places to celebrate Pi Day in Los Angeles (click to read the full article). There are plenty of other great cities to enjoy pie too so feel free to leave me a comment on Instagram if you are looking for a great slice in your city!

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