Sunday (December 9th) is National Pastry Day! It seems like there is a holiday for every type of food product out there, in fact it seems like everyday is a food holiday. BUT there are two of these food holidays that I completely support – National Pastry Day and National Doughnut Day. Both two very important holidays wouldn’t you say?
So in honor of National Pastry Day I offer you some wonderful pastry selections to drool over! Sweet to savory there is a pastry out there for everyone. What are you waiting for? Go celebrate, every day can be National Pastry Day with the array of awesome pastries LA has to offer.
Recently opened Copenhagen Pastry offers traditional Danish pastries. If you love custard or almond you will love their plethora of pastry because almost each and everyone has either almond or custard or both. The Spandauer has a custard center with tucks of almond pastry lining it’s outer ring of delicate puff pastry. Sweet and simple.
Sycamore Kitchen offers some tasty crostatas, scones, muffins and tarts. In the mornings I love the blueberry almond finanicer, it is sticky chewy and sweet or the sour cherry scone with all of it’s crumbly goodness. In the afternoon I like to treat myself to a brown butter mini date bundt cake, I’m addicted!
Who can deny the beauty and pleasure one gets from biting into a croissant! Buttery folds of danish dough. Fill it with ham and cheese and it gets even better! A flaky mess on your lap that leaves your smiling with delight and Proof has a good one. Get their early when they are super fresh!
While it is no secret that I love EVERYTHING at Short Cake, surprisingly I often order the comte thyme croissant. The savory nutty cheese mixed with the fresh thyme fold perfectly into the braided croissant. Each bite is magical (and messy). Perfect for those savory pastry lovers.
Tierra Mia‘s guava and cheese pastry is incredible. I love the combo of guava with sweet cheese, it is tropical and satifying. A magical pairing with their coffee.
If you frequent the Sunday Hollywood Farmers Market they you are certainly familiar with Valerie Confections. One of my favorite stops in the market I love their seasonal selection of pastries. If you are a fan of scones their sour cream is to die for, but sells out quick. My favorite is their rotating selection of hand pies. The pies are buttery, flaky perfection. And hey since Sunday is National Pastry Day and the same day as the market so here you go, no excuse not to celebrate!
This week LA is graced with the one week pop-up of New York’s Big Gay Ice Cream Truck and boy is this girl excited. I’ve already made one visit to the truck with friends and we waited over a half hour for their soft serve delights. It was worth it. I’m planning visit number two this afternoon. Fingers crossed they have their Monday Sundae this time!
The Big Gay Ice Cream truck is a NY fave offering a variety of soft serve cones and sundaes. The truck is adorned with rainbows, unicorns and Bea Arthur, it is just fabulous. They are best known for their ‘salty pimp’ flavor: vanilla soft serve piped with dulce de leche sprinkled with a generous amount of sea salt and coated in chocolate. It is sweet, salty and wonderful.
We also enjoyed the Bea Arthur cone. Upon first bite it may seem a touch boring, but don’t give up hope the crushed nila wafer coating lends a buttery sweetness to the soft serve.
To end it all we had the Mermaid sundae. Fresh lime curd coated soft serve dusted with graham cracker crumbles. Delicate and light. I enjoyed the sundae, but I missed the cone.
The best part of all are the cones. So salty and delectable. The salty pimp cone was oozing dulce de leche. By the time you get down to the cone it is slightly tender from the melting soft serve. Crunchy yet soft, sweet yet savory bites. I savored the cones.
LA you have two more days to find Big Gay and get some soft serve love so what are you waiting for. Sure there are lines, sure it is just soft serve, but it is fun tasty tasty fun! Check out their website for their weekend stops.
Ube: Filipino purple yam, or as I like to think of it sweet purple heaven. Confused by the color or the name? Don’t be shy, just trust me and order an ube shake. You will love it. Ube and coconut ice cream and a little bit of milk meet a blender and something magical happens. Sweet purple milkshake heaven. You can experience this piece of icy cold heaven at the Oinkster in Eagle Rock.
Everytime I go to the Oinkster I order an ube shake. I usually pair it with an original pastrami sandwich and their insanely addictive Belgian fries. I am hardly able to walk out I’m so stuffed, but even bursting at the seams it is impossilbe to go to the Oinkster without getting an ube shake. Ube shakes make for the perfect ice cream break!
End of the week… time for an ice cream break!
Scoops Westside is the solution to your ice cream cravings. They offer 10-12 different flavors daily (follow them on Twitter or fan them on Facebook to see each days delectable offerings). Scoop’s is run by the charming Matt Kang, say hi if you stop by he is awesome!
Their brown bread ice cream is one of favorite flavors. Sure the salty banana oreo is great and the apple pie ice cream too, but the brown bread is wonderfully simple and perfect. Sweet creamy caramel loveliness studded with Grape Nuts that have a delicate softness from sitting in the ice cream. It has a rich nutty sweetness that I just love. Each Grape Nut filled bite is nostalgic for me and makes me remember loving soggy Grape Nuts for breakfast as a child. Did you eat Grape Nuts? Seems like a strange cereal for a kid to like but I did. And hey, since there is cereal involved, could brown bread be breakfast? Ice cream for breakfast, let’s try it.
Sitting in Scoops Westside with a cup of brown bread enjoyed with one of their cute and colorful spoons is all I need for the perfect afternoon ice cream break. And they have fresh coffee too! A coffee and ice cream break all in one – a great way to end the week.
check out their awesome video… and go get some ice cream!
It is hot! I’m melting kinda hot! So naturally I want ice cream. Ice cream really is so much better in the summer time. So shall we take an ice cream break?
Or how about a shake break? Great when you are on the go and need a cold refreshment. Short Order offers some incredible custard shakes. While I love a good milk shake, custard shakes really bring more to the table. Short Cake makes the sweet custard that is the base of all of Short Order’s custard shakes. They use Strauss dairy for their custard and it is churned at a slow pace. Custard shakes have a higher fat content than regular ice cream shakes, which gives them that thick velevty wonderful texture. Coffee malt is one of my favorites. Coffee fix plus shake break all in one.
If you are a fan of the vanilla custard shake from Shake Shack in New York then give the vanilla custard shake at Short Order a try it is equally as amazing. Each tahitian vanilla filled sip and I am whisked back to Madison Square Park and wonderful Shake Shack memories. When I first had this vanilla shake I was so thankful to have finally found a cure for my Shake Shack craving right here in LA.
If you’re feeling lucky, try ordering the off-menu special Black Forrest custard shake. So rich, so chocolatey, so wonderful. Best part is enjoying the luxardo cherry on top!
Take an ice cream break, you deserve it.
I came upon the realization that not enough ice cream breaks are taken during the summer. Are you having this problem too? I need more ice cream in my life. I think we should all take weekly ice cream breaks and enjoy a creamy ice cold treat while summer is still here. Are you with me?
For this week’s ice cream break I went to Bennett’s Ice Cream shop in the Original Farmers Market. It seems that most of my farmers market time is consumed by the sweets at Short Cake or the fried doughy delights at Bob’s Donuts so sadly until recently I did not even know Bennett’s existed. Then one fateful day my darling friend Bakelab introduced me to the ice cold wonders of Bennett’s.
You should get the Fancy Nancy. It is Bakelab’s favorite. The Fancy Nancy: coffee ice cream, caramel, bananas. All sounds good right? All flavors amazing on their own, but when put together even better.
Or if you’re feeling classic and comforting I say go for the Butter Pecan. I mean sweet buttery pecan filled goodness never disappoints.
Where will you take an ice cream break? What flavor will you order?
Yesterday was opening day of Quinn and Karen Hatfield’s new restaurant The Sycamore Kitchen. I love Hatfield’s so was eager to try their new spot, especially Karen Hatfield’s baked goods!
The space is sleek and rustic with exposed brick and wood tables, very minimal and clean. It is easy to miss when driving down La Brea so look for the patio out front and the colorful metal grated fencing.
I decided on a selection of four pastries and was delighted by each.
My favorite of the four was the lemon polenta pound cake. The pound cake was moist throughout with a pleasant grittiness from the polenta, gave it great texture. It was light with subtle citrus notes. Loved it!
Isn’t a good scone so good? Not chewy, not dense, just wonderfully light yet crisp. That is how this scone was. Must be the buttermilk. The sour cherries were gooey soft and tart and the scone had a slightly sugar coated crust. All around delish.
I want anything with plum. Really. It love plums. The plum crostata was an obvious choice for me. I really enjoyed the crust of this crostata. It was perfectly baked and uber flaky. The addition of toasted almonds on top made everything even better. BUT was there pear in this crostata? I think there was. I tried to call and confirm but no answer. Nevertheless it tasted like pear not plum. So sad.
The blueberry almond financier was so almondy, sticky and super sweet. A perfect little cake. Simple and delicious.
I can’t wait to visit again and try some more sweetness like the brown butter date mini bundt cakes or the salted caramel babka.
With so many great brunch options in LA, I find that when the weekend finally rolls around I am at a loss when deciding where to brunch. All the places that I tell myself I really want to visit are suddenly lost from my memory.
If you find yourself trying to choose a place to brunch do yourself a favor and remember this picture of these incredible pastries and treat yourself to brunch at Cook’s County.
I saw donut on the menu and I was sold. Seeing all of the other delectable pastries options only confirmed that I would be ordering an entire basket of goodies. I don’t generally order jelly donuts, they just aren’t my jam, however the Cook’s County strawberry rhubarb jelly filling really enticed me. The donut was nicely fried with a light crust and delicate doughy center. The strawberry rhubarb filling was a great counterpart to the fried dough. Light, fresh and screaming sunshine weather. My only complaint is that there was only a tiny dollop of jelly. I with the donut was stuffed throughout with that delicious strawberry rhubarb jelly.
I’m ready for this jelly!
Coffee cake muffin. Let’s pause right there. If you read this blog you know I love things in muffin form or as I like to call it “muffinized”. The muffin was light, fluffy and bursting with cinnamon. The muffin top was wonderfully thick and crunch. This was a coffee cake accurately captured in a muffin body.
Ginger scone with lemon curd and clotted cream, you’ll never find a scone so delicate and moist while at the same time have a great crumble and crunch. Specks of crystalized ginger are dotted throughout the scone giving it a nice sweet and spicy chew. The tangy lemon curd was a great accompaniment and the clotted cream made it all the more decadent.
Buttermilk biscuit is served with a thick pat of butter tucked in the middle. It creates a hidden surpise of melty, salty, gooey dough. I loved it. It reminded me of my favorite part of a short stack of pancakes when the butter melts through the center of the stack.
Their basket of pastries will knock your socks off (and there are plenty of incredible savory items too! try the smoked trout tartine).
8009 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
I’m not super into the million and one national food holidays out there, but National Doughnut Day is something I can get behind. My love for fried dough confections is all encompassing, boundless, heavenly, undying… I think you get the picture. I like doughnuts. I like them a lot.
So happy National Doughnut Day.
In celebration I was gifted this glazed doughnut beauty from Milo&Olive from the lovely @lientigre.
And this afternoon I was ‘doughnut bombed’ by the amazing Alice of Park Baker & Sons. She made me a chocolate banana berliner and a beignet!
Go eat a doughnut will ya!
Roy Choi‘s Venice restaurant Sunny Spot (a carribean-inspired joint) recently started serving brunch and let me tell you is THE perfect spot for brunch. Gorgeous sun drenched patio, cool sea breeze and food that is comforting and satisfying.
I was invited to their friend & family brunch to preview the offerings before they opened their doors to the public. I barely grazed the surface of sweet brunch selections but the two sweet treats I tried blew me away.
Fried dough. Fried dough with a light dusting of powdered sugar accompanied by guava butter that will make your knees weak. Or how about dipping these pillowy light fried balls in some rum honey? They are somewhere in between beignets and funnel cake. Not greasy at all and perfectly fried and fluffy. Chef Roy Choi said “We wanted to do a savory beignet type of thing, been thinking about festival bread from Jamaica for awhile and Stuart (Chef de Cuisine) ran with it from there.” The Jamaican festival bread alone is worth the trip to Sunny Spot for brunch!
The SKILLET coffee cake is unlike any other coffee cake I’ve had. Chef Roy Choi explains “The skillet cake can go toe to toe with all the sticky buns out there at brunches. I eat the tops of all the pound cakes when I check into the kitchen so I thought why not do a mini one hot?!! The dish developed from there through Beth. There is nothing Caribbean about it. It’s LA all the way, the rum just kept the beat. “ I couldn’t have explained it better chef! Sure there isn’t anything inherently Caribbean about these but it hold true to the Sunny Spot idea where “every day is a holiday”. Skillet coffee cake is carefree and simple. Soft, fragrantly full of vanilla with a flavor reminiscent of a great birthday cake. Rum mascarpone is slathered across the top with a garnish of fresh berries. It is served hot and best enjoyed shared.
Oh and one more thing, Beth is the sweet lady who helps create desserts for all of Roy Choi’s restaurants. Beth if you’re out there and you read this – Thank you! Seriously thank you for the amazing sweetness!
822 Washington Blvd.