Category: Sweet Escapes

A Neighborhood Gem: Four Cafe, Eagle Rock

It is such a good feeling to have that one reliable place that you can go to for dinner when you have had a long day and don’t feel like cooking. A place that is comfortable and inviting with food that makes you want to come back again the next day. Four Café is just that place. Open a mere six days along a stretch of Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock that is quickly becoming a culinary mecca, Four offers soul satisfying food, ethereal desserts, and impeccably friendly service.


fresh english pea cup 4 bowl 6

shallots, spring potato topped with chive oil, (vegan)

This is Spring in a bowl. Verdant flavors that continue to develop and expand with each bite. It is evident that a scrumptious attention to the detail is given to each ingredient in this soup.

grilled flank steak 7.95 half 12.5 full

napa cabbage, arugula, avocado, and tomato with an

apple-shallot soy vinaigrette

I do not often order a salad for dinner, but this was not your average salad. Spicy arugula, creamy avocado, crunchy cabbage and thick and chewy pieces of flank steak grilled to a nice pink with a vinaigrette that married all of the flavors to
gether beautifully. I devoured the salad and was left satisfied and pleased.


oven roasted tomato panini 8.95

tuscan kale,tomato, and burrata

A crunchy and flaky ciabatta is home to decadent burrata melting to perfection with juicy sweet roasted tomatoes balanced with bitter kale. Each bite leaves you eager for more.



meyer lemon yogurt cake 3

I lifted the delicately placed glass cake cover to get a good picture of these cute meyer lemon yogurt cakes snuggly leaning against each other on the stand. What lay beneath was fantastically aromatic. Had I not already decided to order one, the tempting smell would have sold me. The meyer lemon yogurt cake was spongy while at the same time dense. At first the cake is milky with a slight tang from the yogurt, then a bright lemong flavor builds and lingers on your tongue. It is memorable.


blood orange upside down cake
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Caramelized oranges, cinnamon biscuit

This cake will change your life. I’m not the biggest champion of blood oranges. In fact I think they look better than they taste, but this blood orange upside down cake has changed my perspective forever. The cake is crumbly and sweet with nuances of vanilla and cinnamon. The blood oranges provide a refreshing zesty punch to the sweetness of the cake. Near the end of the cake I’m floored – the caramelized oranges have bled into the outer crust of the cake leaving the finally bites gooey, rich, and sweet. I smile and sigh; now that was one damn fine piece of cake!

After my first dining experience I knew that this would be a weekly habit. With affordable prices for stellar food there isn’t any reason not to frequent Four Café. What seems like a typical seasonal menu is truly anything but. From the minimal wood decor to the housemade sodas to the sandwiches, it is clear that there is a mechanical precision taken in choosing every detail. The flavors in all of the dishes evolve into something even more magical as the meal goes on. The personal touch to the service from the husband and wife team that operate Four is the cherry on top of an already amazing dining experience. With affordable prices for great seasonal food, there isn’t any reason not to frequent Four Cafe.

FOUR CAFE

2122 1/2 Colorado Blvd

Eagle Rock CA 90041

323/550-1988

info@fourcafe.net

Latin American Dessert Crawl

A few weeks ago, after a truly delicious day of exploring the streets of Los Angeles with Bill Esparza (StreetGourmetLA), we started to talk about desserts.

And more desserts.

Eventually we started talking Latin American desserts.

A few weeks later, Bill had the brilliant idea of going on a dessert crawl. I messaged a few fellow food enthusiasts, settled on a date and time and we were ready for sweets.

We began our crawl in Huntington Park at El Carriel, a Colombian bakery. El Carriel is an unassuming small panaderia tucked away in a strip mall. The space is snug and clustered with the focal point, a glass case enclosing an array of Colombian confections, in the middle. El Carriel offers a full breakfast menu as well as pastries. The owner Myriam told us that her recipes are what she learned to make while living in Cali, a city west of Bogota. To accompany our hot fresh coffees, Myriam prepared for us Pandebonos and an Arepa de Choclo.

Pandebono is Colombian cheese bread made from cornmeal or masarepa (precooked corn flour). Shaped like a small donut, the exterior is crusty while the innards are warm and toothsome. The cheese baked within the dough imparts an irresistible nutty flavor.

Arepa de Choclo is a delicate griddled corn cake that is found throughout Colombia. The corn was sweet and buttery. The Arepa was topped with queso fresco that added a nice salty contrast.

For added indulgence we each enjoyed a Colombian version of Bunuelos.

Bunuelos are simply fried doughy balls. When cut open they are fragrant and soft. They are more like a beignet than a doughnut, very cakey and eggy. They were simply divine.

We caravanned to the next stop on our crawl, Amalia’s Guatemalan restaurant. Amalia’s is a converted house turned restaurant located on Virgil in East Hollywood. Here we enjoyed plantains served two ways, representative of Guatemalan cuisine.

Rellenitos de Platano is a mashed plantain filled with black beans and served with a side of crema. The rellenitos were tender perfection. Delicately sweet with a distinct cinnamon flavor, the black bean filling melded with the plantains and was almost indiscernible.

Next up was Platano de Mole. The mole is a chipotle and chocolate sauce bursting with sweet and savory spice. The platanos were swimming in mole and after a few bites my taste buds were burnt out. Throughout all three platano versions cinnamon seemed to be the dominant flavor.

From Amalia’s we ventured a few blocks west to Rincon El Chileno. With minimal décor and minimal crowd I was not sure what to expect, but I bite of the Panqueques Celestino and I was in heaven.

Panqueques Celestino is a Chilean version of pancakes. They are somewhere between a pancake and a crêpe and are filled with manjar, also known as dulce de leche. The dough is sweet with crisp edges. It is slathered with manjar and rolled. Dusted with powdered sugar, each bite of panqueques celestino is irresistible. This is a sexy dessert.


We were able to squeeze in one more stop on our crawl. The last stop was El Colmao Cuban restaurant. Here were sampled Flan de Guayaba and Coco Rayado Con Queso Crema.

Guayaba seems to be a favorite ingredient of Cuban desserts. Guayaba is guava shell that has been boiled with sugar. It is super sweet and grainy. The flan was smooth and pliant but to my dismay was swimming in sweetness from the guayaba. A few bites and I was well on my way to a sugar coma.

Coco Rayado con Queso Cream is grated and sweetened coconut with cream cheese. While many around me loved it, I have yet to understand or appreciate the marriage of super sweet fruit in syrup with cream cheese. Not for me.

Stop after stop, this dessert crawl was the perfect day of indulgence. I only wish we had more time or more room in our stomachs to try more desserts.

El Carriel Panderia

2405 Randolph Street

Huntington Park, CA 90255

Amalia’s

751 North Virgil

Los Angeles, CA 90029

Rincon El Chileno

4354 Melrose Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90029

M-Sun 10am-10pm

El Colmao

2328 West Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90006

M-F 10am-8:30pm Sat/Sun 12pm-8:30pm

Breakfast at the Farmers Market


Breakfast is one of my favorite meals. When done right, there is really nothing better. I love a perfectly buttered and toasted piece of bread with fresh cheese and jam. I love crispy salty bacon with a nice chewy bite. I love oily flash fried potatoes with rosemary and garlic. But most of all I love pancakes.

Sunday mornings the Gastrobus parks at the Los Feliz farmer’s market for their Organic Sunday breakfasts. This truly is one of my favorite breakfasts in Los Angeles. A bold statement I know, but having had my fair share of breakfasts in my life as an Angelino I have to say the Sunday breakfast from the Gastrobus is always inspired. I have yet to be disappointed by their seasonal fresh menu.

Today we enjoy Raspberry Pancakes with Lemon Curd and Mint.

Fluffy, tart and fresh.

This was the perfect marriage of flavors.

This was springtime in a pancake.

The Blueberry Pancake Shoot Out

My idea of the perfect breakfast is a stack of pancakes with hot melting butter and sweet maple syrup dripping down the edges. Throw in some juicy fresh blueberries and add some ricotta cheese and you have a perfect pancake. Slightly sweet, bursting with flavor, and light as a cloud. While nothing beats a hot fluffy pancake for breakfast, nothing is worse than going to a restaurant and ordering pancakes that taste like a thick, rubbery, bland mess. Here are a few of my favorite Blueberry Ricotta pancakes in Los Angeles.


BLD


BLD serves up a heaping stack of pancakes ($13). The serving is truly more than you could ever eat so here is a little tip: you can order just one luscious blueberry ricotta pancake, and that is precisely what I did ($6). One giant pancake later and I was bursting at the seams. The pancake at BLD is dreamy. It is golden and thick with blistering blueberries throughout. The syrup is warm and rich. Forkful after delicious forkful you will be sighing over each bite.

7450 Beverly Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90036


Little Dom’s

These pancakes are perfection ($8). Just the right amount of pancakes that yield easily under the fork. The ricotta creates a light-as-air texture and the blueberries offer a vibrant burst of flavor. These pancakes had a nice delicately crisp and buttery exterior. While I was full after three little pancakes, they were so good I was left wanting more.

2128 Hillhurst Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90027

The Gastrobus


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For a cheap and quick breakfast I visit the Gastrobus. The Gastrobus offers a seasonal menu of market fresh ingredients. On a recent visit they featured blueberry pancakes with lemon curd($4). The pancakes were delicate and light, enlivened by the thick, puckery topping. It was the perfect balance of sweetness to acidity. The thick lemon curd was a pleasant change from the tradition maple syrup accompaniment to pancakes.

* you can follow the Gastrobus on Twitter to find their location*

Foodbuzz 24 24 24: A Glimpse Inside The Foodie Underground- Chicks with Knives

Each month Foodbuzz.com selects 24 food bloggers from among their Featured Publishers to prepare or enjoy a meal all on the same night across the globe. I was selected for February’s 24 24 24. My meal? Shhh! It’s a secret! Around Los Angeles, people whisper of a supper club that pops up once a month in an undisclosed location. The address is given only to those fortunate enough to receive an invitation. Welcome to Chicks with Knives.

Chicks with Knives is an underground, invite-only supper club. It is a gathering of individuals with one thing in common: an interest in consuming delicious dishes creatively prepared using sustainable, organic, local, and ethical ingredients. The night is a celebration of one of life’s simple joys – pure gastronomic pleasure.

I was fortunate enough to join these secret ranks for an evening, and so I offer you a rare glimpse inside Chicks with Knives.

The setting for tonight’s dinner is a non-descript building on a quiet Downtown street. The night is dark and the sky dewy from the day’s rain. I walk up a narrow staircase along the side of a building to the loft above. When I enter I am greeted by warm smiles. In true Chicks with Knives fashion, the space is big, bright, and convivial, just like the women behind the dinner.

The main course of the evening was duck. For an amuse bouché, our hostesses used the delicious duck liver to create creamy duck liver mousse on house-made brioche toast topped with apricot-saffron jam. I’m generally not one for mousse or pate, but this improvised concoction was a savory delight. The brioche toast had a nice toasted edge to compliment the smooth duck mousse. Flecks of salt enhanced the sweet, smoky apricot jam. A few of these and our appetites were whetted.

The dining area contained three small tables that were precisely set. At each table were the cutest Kichu tangerines fresh from the farmer’s market. They were a sweet palate cleanser. While we waited for the appetizer, we nibbled on the Easter-egg radishes with cultured butter, pickled Persian cucumbers, and German butterball potatoes.

I have never enjoyed pickled food more than I do when it is pickled by the hands of Rachael of Chicks with Knives. She has a talent for pickling that is unmatched. At a previous dinner I had the pleasure of attending, I enjoyed the most amazing pickled beets. For tonight’s dinner, we were served a lovely dish of pickled Persian cucumbers. Crunchy yet soft, tangy with a hint of sweetness, these pickles were altogether perfect.

There is something so wonderful about a simple plate of radishes with butter. Sprinkle a little sea salt on top and each bite is blissful. To go with tonight’s radishes, the Chicks provided homemade cultured butter that had more flavor than any other butter I’ve tasted. This butter was truly inspired.

The roasted German butterball potatoes with green olive and roasted garlic tapenade surprised me. This was not your average spud. The green olive and roasted garlic tapenade was explosive with flavor. The rosemary spike in each potato provided a fragrant compliment to the fla
vors.

The first course was a wild mushroom consommé with smoked mushroom tortellini and roasted chanterelles. The broth was comforting and rich. There were a few beautiful strands of chanterelles sprinkled throughout. Tender pillows of tortellini rested in the broth. With each loud slurp satisfying warmth filled my body.

The second course was a pain d’epices blini with roasted fennel, winter citrus and hollandaise. The verdant flavor of the fennel paired well with the zesty Oro Blanco grapefruit, while the Cara Cara oranges provided delicate sweetness to offset the rich Hollandaise.

The main course was a duck pot-pie with pate a choux crust and English peas. This sat atop a duo of buttered carrots and sautéed garden greens (kale, sorrel, Swiss chard, amaranth and collard greens) with garlic. The duck was tender and rich, swimming in a sea of savory béchamel and peas. This viscous stew was pleated between two soft flaky crusts of bread- the pate a choux. The bitterness of the sautéed greens nicely offset the lush pot pie. This meal was sumptuous and memorable.

Along side the main course was a vanilla scented rutabaga puree. This was the most heavenly bowl of creamy, smooth, vibrante mash I haven’t ever tasted. The vanilla beans shine through the buttery rutabaga. Each bowl was practically licked clean. (Find recipe below)

Already full from the bounty of amazing dishes, each guest was presented with a bowl of key lime cheesecake with key lime curd and rhubarb compote. These petite works of art were crowned with a “graham cracker” tuille. The dessert was transcendent. The cheesecake made from farmer’s cheese was silky and lush. The key lime curd was so deliciously tart there were puckered lips around the table, followed by satisfied smiles. The subtle rhubarb compote paired harmoniously with the bright flavors of the key lime. The graham cracker tuille was firm with a delicate crumble. I wanted three or four more of these tuilles they were so good.

Our small group left bewitched and delighted. Each course was mesmerizing and impossible to forget. To be invited to one of these secret dinners is to be one of the lucky few that gets to enjoy one of the best meals in Los Angeles among the a select group of new friends.

** Chicks with Knives recipe Vanilla Scented Rutabaga Puree**

1 tablespoon hazelnut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Salt

1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes

1/2 pound rutabaga (aka Swede)

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup heavy cream (yup!)

2 (more) teaspoons vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, and seeds scraped out

Salt

Preheat your oven to 275F.

Toss the hazelnuts with the oil, extract and some salt. Roast for 5 -8 minutes or until just fragrant. Rough chop and set aside.

Peel and chop the potatoes and the rutabaga. Boil in salted water until soft (the rutabaga takes longer…so either chop it smaller than the potato or boil them separately.)

Drain and mash with the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning to preference.

Worth Every Penny


Sometimes there is nothing more soul satisfying than a well-seasoned patty of beef and a slice of flavorful cheese on a soft toasted bun. Throw in a heaping helping of crisp tender fries and all of my troubles melt away.

When Diana of DianaTakesABite told me that she had never had a cheeseburger before, I knew I had to be present for the momentous occasion when she enjoyed her first cheesy, meaty bite. After much debate on Twitter over where to get the best cheeseburger in Los Angeles, Diana settled on Rustic Canyon for her cheeseburger and me as her dinner date.

Rustic Canyon is an upscale restaurant and wine bar that offers an extensive menu of contemporary, market-driven comfort foods. The menu ranges from Butternut Squash soup, Crispy Polenta, Parpardelle to Roasted Jidori Chicken. A cheeseburger would hardly seem like the thing to order at a restaurant like Rustic Canyon, but the burger is definitely part of the attraction and does not fall in the shadows of the restaurant’s other dishes.

Rustic Canyon serves a Niman Ranch burger with sharp cheddar, onion fondue, bread and butter pickles and an herb remoulade on a Rockewagner brioche bun ($16). Each strata of this cheeseburger is well thought out and inspired from the beef to the bun to the pickles.

The ratio of ingredients is ideal. The thick juicy patty is coated with the right amount of sharp melted cheddar cheese. A resonant onion fondue sits atop the melted cheese. A nice slather of herb remoulade brings all the flavors together. The slightly sweet brioche bun is tender and firm and cradles all of the components. With each bite the bright and spicy notes of the arugula stand out. The cheeseburger is unfailingly juicy.

Rustic Canyon demonstrates how with the right ingredients even the most ordinary dish can be transformed. This may be one of the more expensive burgers in Los Angeles, but it is worth every penny.

Rustic Canyon

1119 Wilshire Boulevard

Santa Monica, CA 90401

(310)393-7050

Sweets For Your Sweet

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. What are you getting your sweetheart?

SWEETS FOR THE SOUL

Sweets for the Soul is a gem in Atwater Village. Small and sweet, it houses the best brownie creations you will find in Los Angeles. The selection ranges from the basic Brownie Bliss and Blondie squares to Hotter Shots and Truman Capote brownie hearts. What better way to say I love you than with a brownie heart?

The Hotter Shot is Valrhona Venezuelan dark chocolate spiced with cayenne pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and ginger. This bite-sized morsel instantly captivates with the rich depth of its dark chocolate. The hidden heat bursts at the end of the bite. It is all together sweet, spicy, subtle and explosive.

The Truman Capote is a Valrhona cocoa base with white chocolate chips. Even this seemingly simply combination is anything but plain. There is a complexity of flavors unmatched by any other brownie I have had. The white chocolate chips undulate through the assertive dark chocolaty essence. Each blissful bite is exuberant.

At $2.50 – $3.75 per brownie, these handcrafted confections my seem pricey, but after one bite the value of the product is apparent. Throw your budget to the wind – this is an indulgence worth splurging on.

Sweets For The Soul 3169 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90039 11am-7pm Tues & Wed; 11am-10pm Thurs-Sat 11am-5pm Sunday



Ringing in the New Year! Restaurants of 2009 Cafe Stella and Street

image credit: blog.wineenthusiast.com

A year of bacon, fat-fried everything, food trucks, cocktails, and breweries, 2009 in Los Angeles has been a great gastronomic year. Before we leave this year for the next I want to remember some of my favorites.

Café Stella

3932 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029

(323) 666-0265

Tucked behind Sunset Junction and hidden next to the Silverlake Cheese Store, Café Stella is a neighborhood gem. The dinner menu is French Bistro perfection.

This year Stella began serving breakfast. With a short menu of pancakes, pastries, and egg dishes, the breakfast at Café Stella is simple and classic.

Lemon ricotta pancakes are fluffy and light, with the lemon subtly folded between the silky granules of cheese ($10). Add a light rain of maple syrup and you are in breakfast heaven.

The baked eggs with spinach and goat cheese are meltingly soft and delicate ($10).

When it comes to the spud for breakfast, few restaurants get it right ($4). At Café Stella the crispy breakfast potatoes are just that – crispy, and wonderfully so. Oven roasted and lightly seasoned with a dash of fresh parsley, they have a crunchy skin that gives way to mealy snowiness.

Breakfast at Café Stella is quaint and complete.

Street

742 N. Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038


Already a dedicated and loyal Susan Fenniger fan, I was elated for the opening of Street, her first solo venture. A veritable round-the-world tour of street fare, the menu is stimulating yet approachable. From tea cakes and dumplings to salads, noodles, stews and curries, the small plates offer diners a chance to explore the world of savory, sweet, spicy, and tart. It is a gastronomic adventure to be sure.

Street offers both indoor and outdoor seating, but I highly suggest the outdoor. Giant street-scene murals painted along each of the four walls enclose you with only the open air above. A stone fire pit in the middle of the patio keeps guests warm. Intimate, isolated from its surroundings and employing a sleek Modernist design, it is a convivial place for a meal.

Instead of bread and butter, diners are greeted with cumin-scented millet puffs. These bite-sized puffs have the texture of rice crispy treats but the taste of a spice market. They are pleasing and surprising to the tongue.

Paani Puri – small crisp orbs filled with spiced potato, sprouts and chutneys – is an ideal start to a globe-trotting meal. The flavors of the Paani Puri become more pronounced when dipped in the accompanying yogurt cilantro water. Each orb is crunchy, light, and delightful.

The Korean Rice Salad is sadly no longer on the current menu. It was a cacophonous mix of firm rice, wilted greens, fresh carrots, kimchi, seaweed and tofu, crowned with a soft cooked egg. The contrast of fresh, crisp, bitter and spicy flavors was incredibly enjoyable – a nice play on the idea of what a salad should be.

The Ukrainian dumplings are filled with spinach and a light layer of salted, boiled and pan-fried cheese topped with a heaping spoonful of sour cream and lemon marmalade. An explosion of taste and texture, each dumpling is certainly more than a mouthful and packed with bite. The dough is chewy and the filling salty. Be sparing with the marmalade as it can overpower the other flavors.

The Lamb Kafta with white beans and grilled artichoke is gentle and mellow. It certainly does not stand out compared to the other menu offerings, but is still a hearty and pleasing entrée.

Street’s Kaya Toast has become the toast of the town. All of Los Angeles has been raving about this Singaporean delight. A sticky coconut jam is spread thick between two pieces of lightly toasted and buttered pieces of bread, which are then topped with an over-easy egg drizzled with dark soy sauce and a touch of grey salt. The egg is a quiet background flavor, offering relief from the rich and gooey coconut jam.

The name ‘Street’ lends itself well to the menu, a celebration of street food of the globe. Street offers a memorable dining experience that will surely continue well past 2010.

I look forward to the gastronomic pleasures 2010 is sure to bring. Happy New Year!

* for restaurant suggestions you can always email me theletmeeatcake@gmail.com

I Like to Spoon

With the continuing onslaught of gourmet food trucks to hit Los Angeles, Little Spoon Desserts is the first of its kind. It offers a rotating selection of sweet confections from cakes and tarts to cookies and bars.

On a recent night out I was excited to find Little Spoon Dessert truck parked right on Hollywood Blvd, so I had to stop for some dessert.

I took a cursory glance over the menu and was instantly taken by the Signature Cake. The Signature Cake is made up of layers of marble cake with mocha frosting and chocolate chips. I was sold!

The cake was moist and soft and while I’m not a fan of frosting, the mocha frosting was just right. It was slightly sweet and had a delicate whipped texture. The chocolate chips lent themselves well to this silky cake, adding just the bite it needed.

I also ordered their Assorted Mini Cupcakes, because I can never pass up mini anything. The mini cupcakes come in groups of three, with your choice of flavors. I chose the red velvet, the peanut butter, and the vanilla coconut. The cupcakes came in the cutest little box where the three fit snuggly together. The red velvet was classic and tasty. The peanut butter was rich and velvety. The coconut, however, was a bit dry and a little too sweet.

The Pumpkin Cheesecake was divine. It had a thick and smooth consistency and completely captured the flavors of the season, with slightly spicy warm tones. The cheesecake was firm with a delicate crumble from the graham cracker crust and kept me wanting more.

class=”Apple-style-span” style=”font-family:georgia;”>I wish I could have prolonged all the goodness for as long as possible, but I ate all of my desserts right in front of the truck. If you see this dessert treasure trove parked, make sure to stop and enjoy.

Cupcake Coma

While I have long heard of the fabled cupcake coma – a woozy exhaustion that is provoked by over indulgence in sugary sweet delight – I never believed it to be true. I love cupcakes, and I especially love the sweet sugary rush one gets from each soft bite. How could a cute dainty cake put one into a saccharine induced swoon? After four bakeshops and four large cupcakes lathered with heaping mounds of frosting, the cupcake coma came over me.

I was fortunate enough to be invited by the lovely TaraMetBlog to the Chevy-sponsored Best of Cupcakes Los Angeles Tour. Our small group of eager cupcake enthusiasts was chauffeured by Chevy around LA to the city’s finest cupcakeries. It was a cupcake throwdown.

First stop: Crumbs Bakeshop in Beverly Hills. Of the unbelievably large and imaginative cupcake flavor selection, I chose the Pistachio cupcake. The cake was moist and spongy with the perfect amount of frosting. The frosting was just sweet enough and coated with chopped pistachios. I am not a frosting fan and I generally avoid the stuff but I ate this cupcake in its entirety.


For bakeshop number two we walked down the street to the well-known Sprinkles. Here I tried the classic Red Velvet. I thought the cake was firm yet moist, but the frosting was thick and overly sweet. As far as frosting goes, these are the reasons I avoid it.

Destination three was SusieCakes in Brentwood. SusieCakes is known for its Strawberry cupcake, which Martha Stewart gushes over. I had to try the Strawberry, but I also could not pass up their seasonal Gingerbread cupcake. By now I was starting to understand the causes of the cupcake coma.

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The Strawberry cupcake was amazing. The cake was flavorful, but the strawberry frosting was mind altering. In the most complementary way, it tasted like a cake version of a pink starburst.

The Gingerbread cupcake with cream cheese frosting took the cake! It perfectly captured the season. With spicy and warm flavors slathered with a silky rich frosting, it was my favorite by far of the cupcake tour.

Last stop was Vanilla Bakeshop in Santa Monica. At this point I was quickly fading into sugary heaven and I needed something to captivate me. Vanilla Bakeshop did not meet the challenge. I gave the cupcakes a cursory glance and was quickly taken by the beautiful Key Lime Cupcake. Unfortunately it was cold, dry, and tasted like a refrigerator. It didn’t help that the staff (especially the manager) were rude and unwelcoming. With the exception of our last stop, this was one tasty tour.

By the end of the cupcake tour I was gorged on sweets and ready for a nap.

http://www.carolineoncrack.com/2009/12/15/best-of-la-cupcakes-tour-with-bloggers-and-chevy/

http://www.happygomarni.com/2009/12/scavenging-los-angeles-cupcakeries-in.html

http://www.tarametblog.com/2009/12/best-of-la-cupcakes-tour-with-chevy.html