For any nocturnal bakery hunters out there, finding desserts after 7 pm or so can sometimes pose a daunting challenge. Of course, there are restaurants open past 7 pm that include desserts on the menu-- but all too often the dessert is secondary to the meal itself, an afterthought. Quality late-night desserts are a rare treasure. While Los Angeles does have its 24-hour bakery gems (take our landmark Canter's Deli as an example), I found New York to be a much friendlier city to late-night dessert junkies-- Not only were bakeries open late, but other late night business owners were wise to the bakery-lover's moonlit sugar cravings: several bars featured dessert cases with the cupcakes and sugary delights that dreams are made of. I only wish their West Coast counterparts would learn.
So if you find yourself with a quasi-late-night hankering for some baked goods and you're wandering the streets of Santa Monica, take a gander at the display case over on Main Street at Urth Caffe. Urth Caffe has a generous selection of desserts including cheesecakes, mini-pies, cakes, and fruit tarts, with the extended business hours of a coffeehouse. Urth Caffe's hours are not that late, but they certainly do the trick. While the prices are high in this trendy organic latte sippin' scene, their desserts are so darn good I cannot complain too much: try the peach pie, the pistachio strawberry tart, the berry tart, the pecan pie...I've tried many of their goodies over my first few months on Santa Monica, and I've rarely been disappointed.
If anyone else has any good late night Los Angeles dessert tips, please call The Great American Bakery Hunt late night dessert hotline. Night owls need bakeries too.