Category: When I’m Not Eating Sweets…

The Sweet Side of Downtown Santa Monica

I love that in Los Angeles I continue to be able to explore and discover my own city. Having grown up here I’ve watch the city change, grow, and transform. It’s been amazing to experience. One of the biggest changes I’ve seen has been with L.A.’s food scene. Each neighborhood in L.A. has it’s own culinary treasures and treats to discover.

I recently went west to spend the day in Santa Monica. For those familiar with L.A. you know that the city’s expanse makes traveling east and west seem like you are on a mini vacation sometimes and this sweet filled day exploring Downtown Santa Monica felt like just that. If you are looking to enjoy some time next to the beach mixed with some walking around and shopping in between then Downtown Santa Monica is just the ticket and here are five sweet treats to check out.

True Food Kitchen

True Food Kitchen is a great place to grab some lunch. Their menu offers health-driven seasonal eats. Best part you won’t feel bad ordering dessert while you are at it since you had such a well balanced meal. And while they focus more on gluten-free and vegan options, the desserts here are delicious. They usually have a seasonal pie, in this case key-lime and also a pudding or flan. If you had to choose one, but why choose one, I would say grab the coconut chia flan I promise there will not be one bite left after you try it!

Stickhouse

Looking for an ice cold treat? Stickhouse offers an array of fruity and creamy gelato on a stick. You can have it as is or dip it in chocolate and coat it with toppings. There is something for everyone here. They even offer a Golden Hour discount so you can grab that perfect beach sunset popsicle Instagram pic.

ChouChou

New to Santa Monica this French café offers freshly baked croissants, pastries, tarts and cakes. The croissant is a buttery delight, but the real show stopper was their gluten-free sugar free berry cake. I know gasp, Let Me Eat Cake going GF and sugar-free I have to admit I surprised myself too, but while I was skeptical at first one bite changed my tune. It tastes every bit as good as a gluten full sugary sweet. Don’t believe me? Go check it out for yourself.

The Georgian

The Georgian Hotel is 1940’s Old Hollywood charm nestled next to the beach. Pop in to enjoy brunch on the veranda with ocean views. They have a French toast soufflé that is worth the visit alone!

Vanilla Bakeshop

Because cake is always a good idea, you should make a stop at Vanilla Bakeshop. They have a rotating selection of flavors in regular and cupcake babies. They also carry whole cakes, cookies, bars, cake pops, and tarts. My go to are the perfectly bite sized cupcake babies.

Where to Indulge on Mother’s Day in LA

With Mother’s Day tomorrow I thought I’d share some of the sweet things I’m considering for my mom for those of you looking for some last minute sweet ways to show your mom some love!

Sweet Brunch

Maple at Descanso Gardens

What: Located in the beautiful blooming Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge, Maple is serving a special delicious modern American dishes for brunch for Mother’s Day! While enjoying the harpist performance and the garden views, you will be treated to a buffet with your choice of eggs from the blooming breakfast station, sweet or savory combinations from the oatmeal and fruit oasis, a homestyle brunch from the baked potato bar, and of course, their famous Fried Chicken N’ Beignets. Before strolling through the beautiful gardens, don’t forget to stop at the creperie to treat yourself to a house made to order crepe just how you like it.

When: 9am, 11:30 am, 2pm
Price: For members, $65 per adult, $25 per child. For non-members, $70 per adult, $30 per child.
Reserve: Pay ahead for a reservation online, or call  818-864-6435

The Front Yard

What: Valley dwellers looking to celebrate Mother’s Day can head to the Front Yard at the Garland hotel in North Hollywood. Treat Mom to a delectable spread, including highlights like a tomato and watermelon gazpacho, seared salmon with rosemary, slow-cooked prime rib, classic eggs Benedict and a sweet-tooth-approved crepe station.

When: 11am-3pm
Price: $49 per adult, $22 per child age 12 and under
Reserve: 818-255-7290

Sweet Gifts

Luphia Sweets

What: Unable to spend the day with Mom? Send her a custom gift box of sweets to show her you are thinking of her! Choose from a duo or trio package of Luphia’s delicious icebox cookie or chocolate covered almonds, or create your own custom combination tailored specifically toward what she likes. Made with premium California ingredients and shipped worldwide!

How: Shop online or call ((310) 975-7088) for same-day shipping within the Los Angeles area.
Check them out: @LuphiaSweets

Sweet Treats

Pitchoun Bakery

What: If you’re Downtown, head to the French bakery and café to indulge. They offer a wide selection for brunch, including their parisian omelette and Croque-Monsieur. If you are looking for that perfect sweet treat to bring home to your celebration, pick up any of their freshly-made pastries including their raspberry croissants, macarons, and homemade creme brulee!

When: Brunch from 11 am- 1 pm, Bakery open 7am- 5pm Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm Saturday, and 8am- 4pm Sunday.
Where: 545 S Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013. No reservations necessary.
Check them out: @PitchounBakery

Sweet Lady Jane

What: This iconic bakery creates the perfect treat for any occasion… especially Mother’s Day. The perfect mid-day cake to celebrate is their signature Triple Berry Shortbread Cake, studded with fresh raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries within a fluffy vanilla buttercream and light yellow cake. For the chocolate lovers, satisfy those cravings with their Old Fashion Chocolate Cake. Don’t forget to add a personalized note on top to make it extra special!

Where: Pick-up from any of their three store locations (West Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Encino), or place a mail order for delivery nation-wide
Check them out: @tripleberrycake (If you show their most recent post to an in-store cashier between Weds May 10th and Sunday May 14th, receive 10% off your order!!)

 

Best Mochi in Los Angeles

FullSizeRender

What I love most about Los Angeles is that even having grown up here there is always something new to discover. LA has so many neighborhoods  and hidden gems to explore. Plus there is such amazing diversity in this city, it makes the neighborhoods and the neighborhood eateries that much more interesting.

FullSizeRender_1

Take for example when I stumbled upon the sweetest fresh mochi shop in Little Tokyo, Downtown LA just a few weeks ago. I’ve been in and around downtown hundreds of times, but this little shop was not on my radar. Then over coffee and catching up with a pal she asked if I had ever been to Fugetsu-Do. I had never even heard of it when she mentioned it and she was shocked. Immediately after coffee I headed down the street to see what it was all about.

FullSizeRender_2

Fugetsu-Do is known for traditional Japanese confections – mochi and manju. It has been operating in Los Angeles since 1903. Yeah 1903 and I only now stumbled upon it! It is run by the Kito family and was opened by Seiichi Kito. It was then managed by his son Roy Kito, and today his son Brian Kito manages it. They continue to supply mochi to Japanese markets, restaurants, and cafes around LA and beyond.

FullSizeRender_4

It is a simple space and when walking in you would think not much has changed, but that is also part of the charm. They have a pastry case full of different mochi and manju.

FullSizeRender_3

You can buy it by the piece or by the box. I got a sampling of 4 to start. Two of which ended up being the same thing whoops, I need to brush up on the Japanese flavor description for my next visit. The mochi was so pillowy soft and delicately sweet. I preferred the just mochi slices to the filled mochi. My favorite of which was the blueberry mochi, make sure to try this if you visit them. They sell other Japanese sweets and treats too beyond mochi if you are looking for more.

I’m now inspired to see what other hidden in plain sight treats await me in my own city! Have a spots like this in your city? Let me know in the comments below or share with me on Instagram @LetMeEatCake.

Fugetsu-Do 315 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Best Donuts in Denver

fullsizerender_2

Denver is a sprawling city like LA with tons of things to do at your fingertips. And similar to LA it has an incredible dining scene. But we aren’t here to talk about dinner, we are here to talk donuts!

I usually visit Denver once a year during the holidays with my boyfriend because it’s his hometown. When we have a free moment between family fun we always go in search of donuts. In fact once of my early blog posts is all about a Denver donut hunt and that was written before the U.S. really got into this donut craze that we are in. So I thought it was about time that we update the list and share with you what is new and tasty with Denver donuts.

Spots like LaMar’s, Walton’s, and Donut House are still around and they continue to sling delectable fried and glazed dough in tried and true standard flavors. These guys aren’t going anywhere and you can always count on them to satisfy your donut desires, but there are so new entries to the market worth checking out too…

fullsizerender

Glazed and Confuzed 5301 Leetsdale Drive 80246 This nouveau donut shop churns up fun and fresh takes on a great raised donut. Using fresh, local ingredients you can expect to find playful flavors like the root beer float donut or my favorite the confused Samoa (think girlscout cookie meets donut). This is the place for inventive fried treats!

img_9323

Fractured Prune 4090 East Mississippi 80246 Fractured Prune is a national chain that I only discovered in Denver. They offer fried to order cake donuts in suggested flavor combos or you can pick your glaze and toppings from what seems like a limitless array of options. New to the game I opted for a French Toast donut and a Carnival donut with rainbow sprinkles. Both were perfectly fried with crisp edges and a melt in your mouth center. Nothing beats a warm and fresh donut!

fullsizerender_1

Habit Doughnut Dispensary 1553 Platte Street 80202 Habit Doughnut and Dispensary is a convenience store meets doughnut shop specialized in one of a kind sweet and savory brioche doughnuts. The doughnuts have hip hop and canibis inspired quirky names and wild flavors and toppings like baileys, whiskey, Red Bull, and potato chips to name a few.

fullsizerender_7

Jelly U 600 East 13th Avenue 1700 East Evans Avenue Around the corner from Denver University is a go-to breakfast spot known in particular for their plates full of tiny fried to order filled donuts. There is a range of fillings from lemon curd to jelly, but the flavor not to miss is the Bhakti chai. Photo credit @tuttletreats.

Sweet of the Week | High Point Creamery, Denver CO

fullsizerender_3

I spent the Thanksgiving holiday in Denver and despite the cold temps I took an afternoon to check out one of the city’s new artisan ice cream shops – High Point Creamery.

fullsizerender_4 fullsizerender_5

This cute local shop is the perfect neighborhood spot for a scoop. Their flavors range from classics like mint chip to unique seasonal treats like earl grey shortbread. They even have excellent vegan options like vegan coconut creme brûlée (pictured top scoop). I loved that the ice cream was rich and creamy with a nice chewiness. Any new artisan ice cream spots you are loving? Share in the comments below.

215 S Holly St, Denver, CO 80246

Upper Crust Pie Camp | Baking Tips From A Pro

I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity recently visit the Paws Up Resort in Montana for their Upper Crust Pie Camp with my pal travel and food writer Krista Simmons. Yes, Pie Camp is a thing and I highly recommend this memorable experience for food, friends and fun. We learned some very valuable skills from pie expert Kate McDermott. You can see our all of our adventures in this lovely video that Krista put together. Keep reading to discover the perfect pie tips we learnd!

(more…)

Sweet of the Week | Lick Ice Cream, Austin TX

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 7.08.15 AM

I’m no stranger to the glorious food options Austin, TX has to offer and since I’m here for the weekend for #SXSW there was no better time to finally try Lick ice cream. Lick is a beloved local scoop shop offering unique flavors of small batch ice cream. They pride themselves on using locally source whole ingredients – honest ice cream as they call it. Each creative confection was a pure delight. I decided on a playful combo of beet and mint ice cream paired with a scoop of goat cheese, honey and time. It was not only a beautiful scoop it was equally as delish too. This is the only way I want to eat beets and goat cheese from now on! Eat your veggies, especially when in ice cream form.

Best Instagram Moments of 2014

LMEC Collage

I can’t help but indulge in this reflective time of year, where everyone puts up their best of 2014 lists – it was afterall a great year with many many sweet moments! So I started reflecting on my Instagram in particular when thinking back on 2014. It seems to be my medium of choices these days when work and life and tracking down macaron ice cream sandwiches gets in the way of blogging.

So reflecting on a year of Instagram I realized this – I ate a lot of dessert! Well that isn’t some big revelation, but shit that was a lot of sugar I consumed. But unlike years past, this year I really expanded my search for new desserts and tried a lot of new sweet spots and a wider varitety of confections. It was also super fun to watch more people follow along and comment and react to all the delicious desserts. I love seeing peoples reactions to the posts and seeing which ones people like more than others. I learned that you all love churros and macarons! It has been a sweet sweet journey that I can’t wait to continue into 2015.

See what others thought of my Instagram this year too! 
People.com:  http://greatideas.people.com/2014/06/16/best-food-instagram-feeds-to-follow/
Cooking Channel: http://blog.cookingchanneltv.com/2014/04/25/your-favorite-foodie-instagrams/
Refinery 29: http://www.refinery29.com/los-angeles-foodie-instagrams#slide
ThrillistLA: http://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/los-angeles/best-la-instagrams
Brit + Co: http://www.brit.co/instagram-dessert-accounts/
The Lala: http://thelala.com/foodporn-alert-7-foodies-follow-instagram/
DailyLife.com: http://www.dailylife.com.au/photogallery/dl-food/food-features/10-instagram-accounts-every-cake-lover-should-follow-20141002-3h4cl.html
BlissTree.com: http://www.blisstree.com/2014/06/20/food/best-food-porn-instagrams/
 
 
If you aren’t already following along on Instagram (@LetMeEatCake) what are you waiting for! 
 
 

Coachella 2014 Dessert Guide

Coachella Weekend 2 is upon us. For those of you planning your weekend eating and drinking, I have a guide to some of the best Coachella dessert options!

IMG_1192

Located in the Terrace dining area near the Do Lab and those awesome fish tacos are an array of artisan purveyors. I particularly enjoyed the refreshing selection of handmade popsicles from Sweet Clementines. Lemon Buttermilk was tart and light and their Strawberry Rose was just blissful ($5).

IMG_1141

If you haven’t discovered already on this blog, Le Bon Garcon are my favorite French style caramels. It was such a pleasant surprise to find them in the Terrace Dining area. You can grab a pocket ful of these carames ($5) and enjoy a sweet little bit throughout the day. The sea salt caramels are soft, smooth and satisfying.

IMG_1143

Portand darling Salt & Straw is at Coachella this year offering their delectable ice cream and they are stationed right next to Stumptown – double win! Their Arbequina olive oil is one of my favorite flavors so I was stocked to find it on the menu. Paired with Coffee bourbon and you are set. Single scoops are $7 so opt for the double $10, you deserve it.

IMG_1183

An LA fave dessert shop has found it’s way to the desert – Creme Caramel LA. You can take a little mid day breather and treat yourself to the mid day sweets break and enjoy the BEST creme caramel EVER! Other menu options include, upside down pies, frozen vanilla custard bombs and some jazzed up rice crispy snacks. Go!

IMG_1196

For those who like their sweet a little savory, you can enjoy an awesome arepa treat from multiple stands throughout the field. Sweet griddle corn, ooey gooey mozarella with a health drizzle of honey. It’s the honey that makes it.

IMG_1129

And of course the best for last… Coolhaus. A Coachella VIP favorite, regulars come back for ice cream sammie goodness year after year and for good reason – it’s good! I opted for a Strawberry Mojito scoop last weekend, but this weekend I’m going for the gold and getting a Potato chip butterscotch cookie + Fried Chicken Caramel ice cream sammie. Bring it.

Enough sweets to fill your entire week. Happy dessert-ing.

#FreeConeDay Touring Ben & Jerry’s HQ

IMG_0634

Did you hear? Today is Ben & Jerry’s Annual FREE CONE DAY! Some may say the happiest day of the year and I wouldn’t disagree, it certainly is the Ben & Jerriest day of the year.  Scoop shops around the world will be dishing out free cups and cones* TODAY! This annual event actually began 35 years ago when Ben & Jerry’s wanted to say “thank you!” to their beloved ice cream fans and the community that supported them after their first year of business. And thankfully this awesome day has been a tradition ever since.  I recently had the privilage of spending two days in Burlington Vermont with the Ben & Jerry’s team on a press trip. Here is a glimpse into those magical ice cream filled days…

 IMG_0532

We went to the Ben & Jerry’s Headquarters and met the team. Everyone was so welcoming and kind (and they all get 3 free pints a day!). We toured the offices, ate ice cream, went down a slide and learned more about the company in Scoop U! I think one of my biggest take-aways from this trip was really understanding the Ben & Jerry’s social mission. It is truly impressive to see how involved in social activism and values of Fair Trade sourcing the company is. Read more here.

 IMG_0562

We spent some time with the R&D team learning more about their super premium ice creams. We cut into some pints to test quality, consistency and distribution of chunks and swirls. This was my first meeting with their Milk and Cookies flavor (see above) and it was love at first bite. I will never forget you Milk and Cookies xoxo!

 IMG_0596

Then we got a chance to divide up into teams and create our own fantasy flavor! My team consisted of SoCal pals Cathy, Matt and Erin. While our creation wasn’t the winning flavor, it was a winner in our hearts and bellies!

 IMG_0630

We also toured the Ben & Jerry’s facility in Waterbury. We got a peak into the factory and enjoyed ice cream fresh off the production line. We even got a chance to literally cut right into all of the NEW Core flavors.

All in all it was an incredible two days in Vermont. I met knew bloggers and enjoyed the company of old blogging pals. We ate well and the ice cream never stopped flowing.  I left an even bigger fan of chunks and swirls!

Now off to get my #freeconeday ice cream cone!

* To confirm Free Cone Day participation and hours, make sure to check out the Scoop Shop Locator at www.benjerry.com or contact your local Scoop Shop in advance.