Who knew that a butcher shop and restaurant could have some of the best pastries in LA? Well it’s true – Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant from chef Curtis Stone (of Maude) and his brother Luke Stone serves up some of the best sweet treats in town courtesy of pastry chef Amy Taylor. Swing by for an epic croissant and cup of Aussie coffee in the morning or an incredible cookie to go with one of their butcher counter sandwiches for lunch. But you would be remiss to not enjoy a big slice of their coconut passion fruit layer cake or whatever layer cake they have available at the moment. Their cakes, their cookies, their pastry – it’s good, really (insert expletive) good!
6600 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles 90028
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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
PH. 310 855 9955
As the year is coming to a close, I am taking some time to reflect on my favorite sweet bites. Some are new to the scene and some are tried and true, but all were oh so delicious. This list could go on an on so I’ve kept it to a dozen Los Angeles sweet treats that kept me coming back for more! Want to see just which ones I picked!? keep reading to find out…
This weeks sweet is brought to you by Forage. I have to say their desserts never let me down. From one of the best German chocolate cakes ever to sticky chewy oatmeal cookies to seasonal fruit cheesecake, they’ve got the sweets game down. This new seasonal special, Strawberry Tres Leches Cake, is all sorts of amazing. A nice crumb, just enough sweetened condensed milk and super sweet California straberries.
In the spirit of birthday week, both blog and my own, let’s talk birthday cake. Here are some of my favorite cakes and cake makers in Los Angeles!
This strawberry tres leches cake is just one of the many delectable slices you can get from Forage in Silverlake. They make some of my favorite cakes in town, especially their German Chocolate Cake that cannot be beat.
This strawberry chocolate cake from Matchbox Kitchen is just one gorgeous example of Sara’s beautiful cake creations. My favorite to date is still her chocolate caramel. In need of a cake, well look no further. She is also the mastermind behind LA Cake Club – a bi-monthly a meeting for dessert enthusiasts to share and enjoy homemade sweets.
One of my favorite cakes to make is this perfectly simple ginger infused Italian cream cake from Spoon Fork Bacon. These ladies know a thing or two about food and you can be certain that any recipe you find here is going to be gold!
Up for a baking challenge? Take on this drool-worthy recipe for Churro Cake by Large Marge up on KitchyKitchen.com.
As always don’t forget to follow along on Instagram @LetMeEatCake for you daily sweet fix!
In the spirit of reminiscing over the year that has just passed in the blink of an eye, here are my favorite sweet moments of 2014!
1. The number one spot had to be held for this Nestle Tollhouse + Buzzfeed baking video. It was not only a blast to film, but those double chocolate baked donuts – the greatest excuse to eat cake for breakfast!
2. Working on a Sweet Guide to LA on Conde Nast Traveler. As a native Angeleno, I take great pride in my city and it was fun to share a few of my favorite places for desserts. And I am a big CN Traveler fan too!
3. Getting invited to Ben & Jerry’s in Vermont for a few days and then getting to show Dorie (Ben & Jerry’s story teller) around LA a few months later. What ice cream lover doesn’t dream of visiting the Ben & Jerry’s factory and headquarters and then meeting Ben & Jerry in real life. It was an amazing moment in time and I’m so so thankful to have gotten to check that off the bucket list this year!
4. Going on a hunt for the best churros in LA. It’s a tough job, but someone had to do it!
5. Using new ingredients to create this yummy banana jam pudding pie with the Fare Trade. I don’t love myself in this video and wish that I would have smiled more because I really did have fun, but the end results were worth it!