Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Magnolia Bakery's legendary goods have arrived to LA-- but where should you eat yours?

Magnolia Bakery's Los Angeles location is finally open on 3rd Street.  This is a big deal for LA bakery hunters who have been eyeing the empty storefront ever since the "Leased" sign went up with the Magnolia Bakery logo hanging in the window.  

Now the only question is where to eat your cupcake once you get your hands on one.  At Magnolia's Bleecker Street location in New York, there are a few strategically advantageous benches where you can devour your cupcake and even in such a busy city, pause long enough to lick the frosting off your fingers.  This being part of the charm of the original Magnolia experience, I wonder how LA cupcake consumers will adjust.  

Please send in your suggestions of the best places to strategically enjoy a Magnolia cupcake in LA and we'll show New Yorkers what they're missing!   

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Bakelab summer school!

I've never been to Bakelab in Inglewood before, but these classes make summer school sound fun.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Dessert grilled cheese anyone?

Craving grilled cheese and dessert at the same time?  Consider trying my favorite grilled cheese recipe: a mixture of marscapone and gorgonzola cheeses spread on buttered raisin bread with fig jam.  My mom found this recipe and we've been enjoying them with champagne ever since!  It's like reaping the sweet benefits of baking without actually having to bake.

Love affair with Caffe Luxxe

I'm not sure I'll ever have enough strength to move too far away from a Caffe Luxxe: talk about a cup of coffee that can really define your coffee and pastry experience.  This place really makes live worth living. 

Favorite late night meals in LA

If you're like me, you enjoy a good late night meal followed by some dessert.  And while I love LA, LA is no New York when it comes to finding late night eats.

If you're looking for a late night LA meal on the west side, consider wandering over to Santa Monica's Musha.  Musha's late night Japanese comfort food is always reliable, served with a smile, and delicious.  And if you're lucky, Izzy's deli will still have some black and white cookies for sale when you're ready to hunt down some late night dessert.

Sometimes we go to Porto's and get a little carried away...

As the title of this blog post suggests, sometimes we go to Porto's and get a little carried away.  This is easy to do when the value at Porto's is so incredible, and the pastries are so fresh.  

Go at closing time and you might just snag a closing time loaf of bread like the one featured above!  And better yet, make some delicious french toast out of your good fortune.

Baked good delivery from Koreatown!

Thanks to my wonderful friend Hae Jin, who delivered me a birthday sweet potato cake from Koreatown's Paris Baguette.  Hae Jin and I studied abroad together in Denmark and have been good buddies ever since.  The other day, we caught up over some much needed Tarascos tacos, and then to my surprise, Hae Jin presented me with a raspberry-topped sweet potato cake.  You really know who your good friends are when they meet up with you and are toting concealed cake for you to try. 

Pictured below is the sweet potato cake we shared over some Intelligentsia coffee.  Note: Silver Lake's Intelligentsia not only has great coffee, but happens to be one of the best people watching spots in LA.  Sit at the counter opposite the front door and you'll see what we mean.

Other suggested eating locations: Consider following your next Koreatown bakery stop with some K-town karaoke.  Add dumplings from your local eatery of choice, a few baked goods and some classic rock songs-- There's really no better combination!

Hygge Bakery will lure you to downtown LA with the promise of marzipan

Does LA Traffic leave you feeling down?  Is the daily grind wearing away at your commuter soul?  If this is how you're feeling, it may have nothing to do with traffic at all.  It may just be that you're not eating enough marzipan.  Think about it: when was the last time you sunk your teeth into a genuine Danish pastry?  My sense is that you've likely been denying yourself this experience, whether you know it or not.  Enter Hygge Bakery, to take care of all your warm, flaky Danish fresh baked good needs.  I went to Hygge after it first opened and have yet to experience anything in LA as close to a Copenhagen style Danish bakery.  I would urge anyone in the LA area to try their offerings as soon as you can.  The custard, icing, and chocolate pastry called the "slice" (pictured below) is always a favorite option of mine, and the "snails" are also particularly popular.  (I observed one man lamenting that he had woken up too late and his favorite snail had sold out.)  Downtown is so lucky to have this gem of a bakery-- in fact, you might even find yourself making up excuses to go to downtown just to get a taste.  Next time, consider stopping at Hygge before you're faced with a traffic jam: just imagine, instead of feeling bombarded by billboard ads or confrontational road rage, you'll be savoring some flaky pastry dough and singing your favorite road tunes.  Don't forget to open your sunroof and take in a little of that LA sunshine.  Why not make your commute to work a little more pleasant?  

(Author's note: Exercise caution while driving and eating pastries-- That steering wheel could get a little buttery.)

Happy Birthday Grandma Carol!

July 3rd was my Grandma's birthday, so naturally we ordered a cake from our favorite local bakery, French's.  Cakes from French's have made an appearance at almost every birthday throughout my childhood years.  True, I went through a brief rebellious Ben and Jerry's ice cream cake phase, but we always come back to French's for our special occasions.  Pictured above is a strawberry vanilla cake with whipped frosting.  

However, we should note that the cake French's is most known for in our family is the chocolate cake with buttercream frosting, before mentioned on The Great American Bakery Hunt as the official cake of Chocolate Cake season.

Of course, the best thing about this bakery is its old school style.  This is baking at its very best: just a good old fashioned family business with no hefty price tags or name dropping of fancy imported ingredients.  With all of these fancy bakeries popping up, I'm always thankful that there's still one place you can buy a cupcake under $4!