Bakery

Ina ve been hearing such good things about Cafe Dulce, and seeing all the yummy looking photos, I had to give it a visit. During my dreaded two day jury duty visit, my 1.5 hour lunches made it a time to urban hike the crap out of downtown. Mindlessly walking, I ended up in Little Tokyo. It was either Spitz (the safe choice, and the choice I should have made), or elsewhere. Of course my curiosity led me to Cafe Dulce.

I ordered the Spicy Korean Cheesesteak. I don’t know why I ordered it. It. Just sounded good and though it would be. The marinated beef, homemade slaw, kimchi, provolone cheese, and their secret hot sauce between a stale roll was my lunch. The beef was thin, tasteless, and there wasn’t much of it. The house made slaw was not crunchy or tasty, and the kimchi somehow worked against the sandwich. I was definitely regretting not going to Spitz as I took each bite.

To cheer myself up, and to try their baked goods, I ordered a bacon donut hole. Honestly, this wasn’t that bad. It was soft, sweet, salty, and gave satisfied my craving of something at least somewhat tasty. I guess I was a better off not ordering lunch here but just getting some donuts and baked goods. Lesson learned.

Café Dulcé on Urbanspoon

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Cake Mix – Duff Goldman Makes it Our Own

by Franklin on May 20, 2014

This event was an experience all on its own. Not only did I get to eat some wonderful cake, but I got to design my own as well. Once I entered Cake Mix, I was greeted with specialty cocktails. Red velvet cake martini? Yes please! Entering Cake Mix, I felt like I was inside Duff Goldman’s brain. The colors and the smells of the sweet treats was a sensory overload. As we stood around the gorgeous cakes, we got to try some of Duff’s new creations. Delicious as always.

We were then seated around already decorated cakes. We were then given materials to decorate our own cake. We rolled fondant, piped frosting, and sprinkled sprinkles. The winner, the best designed mini cake got to take the center cake home. I would like to state that this whole cake decorating business is hard business. I had a good concept (a macaron cake), but the execution was horrible. Nonethelss, I had a blast decorating the cake. I felt like a kid again.

Duff Goldman came around and judged our creations. I of course, did not win. After a trip to the photo booth, and a quick sticker placement on the cake, I was all ready to go home. Not of course without my swag bag filled with wonderful creations and eats. Twas indeed a sweet night.

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Semi Sweet Bakery – The Crullant

by Franklin on March 12, 2014

Semi Sweet Bakery in Downtown is one of the many places to get cronuts in Los Angeles. Dubbed the name, “crullant”, theirs was more of a hybrid between a croissant and a French cruller. Behind Semi Sweet Bakery is Sharlena Fong, a New York based pastry chef. The cafe bakery was small, chic, and filled with so many baked goodies.


The Crullant was quite nice, and one of the best “cronut” renditions I have had. It was delicate and not too sweet. I liked the fact that this tasted clean and more like a pastry, not oil. A lot of cronuts have that fried oil taste, and I appreciated that this one didn’t have that taste. The glaze was not too much, and gave the crullant a perfect sweet taste. I also liked that there was a lot of layers from the pastry. It gave it a nice texture and flavor.

The Peanut Butter Ding a Ling was tasty. A spin on the Hostess Ding Dong, this one was quite decadent. The peanut butter filling combined with the rich chocolate flavor went so well together. I’m not really a ding dong fan, but this rendition was quite delicious.

Semi Sweet Bakery is almost a perfect bakery. They have some top quality pastries and nothing is too over the top. The ode to the ding dong was nostalgic and the crullant is nearly perfect. Next time, I must try the maple bacon sticky bun.

Semi Sweet Bakery on Urbanspoon

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Little Next Door – Parisian Brunch

by Franklin on February 15, 2014

Find your passport, grab a plane, and fly over to Paris. Grab brunch at your local brasserie, and there is your European/French breakfast with freshly baked bread and all the classics. Instead, drive down 3rd Street near Crescent Heights and you will be at Little Next Door. The French inspired brasserie is spot on with the colors, cuisine and bakery selections. I enjoyed the food and Little Next Door is a great contender amongst the many breakfast spots in this area.

We started things off with a caramel latte. Doctors say, drink water in the morning to jump start your internal organs. Well, caffeine does the same, except really fast. Coffee Latte over water always! We missed the latte art, but this large cup of caramel latte was delicious. Not too sweet, the coffee flavor was pure and delightful. It was creamy, delicious, and all I could wish was to have had this last with our dessert.

We were treated with some delicious bread. One could only assume this was all made in house. It was light, airy and perfect with the olive oil and balsamic mix. The mixture was sweet, acidic, and was zesty from the herbs and garlic inside. I was glad there wasn’t a lot of bread that was served — that would have been bad.

The Croque Madame is almost the perfect breakfast. It is cheesy, has ham, and of course, a runny egg on top. The grilled ham in this one was really nice in quality. You could taste the freshness and the actual pork flavor came out. This open faced sandwich made with whole wheat bread was a covered in amazingly melted and toasted cheese. The combination with the simple vinaigrette salad was satisfying. The simplicity of this dish is what made me enjoy it.

Eggs Benedict is another one of those classic brunch menu items. We opted for the Wild Mushroom Eggs Benedict. I appreciated the lightness and delicate Hollandaise sauce. It usually is a bit on the sour side or rich with too much butter. Theirs was just a compliment to this dish. The mushrooms were the star — it had a good bite to it with an earthy flavor. The egg was poached perfectly, and the egg yolk was warm and running. I appreciated that the bread was toast with crust cut off instead of an English muffin. This made it easy to cut and eat with a fork. The side house green salad went well with this dish.

Of course, we had to finish things off with macarons. My favorite was the caramel, something the waiter picked out for us. The other 3 were total misses. I tried a bunch of macarons in my day, and these were just so-so. The inside was moist, but a little too moist, almost wet. The outside crust was nice, but the inside was a bit off. A good macaron has a nice firm outer crust, and the inside should be light, then dense as you chew. Their flavors were ok, but the texture was a bit off. I wish I had a chance to try some of their other pastries and baked goods.

Little Next Door does a good job in bringing France to 3rd Street. The decor is on point, and the food items are delicious. I could only imagine food in France to be only slightly better (maybe a little more than slightly). It was relaxing eating brunch outside, people watching and seeing the cars wiz by on the street. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but it is safe to say breakfast is king here.

Little Next Door on Urbanspoon

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Bouchon is an Icon. Having been to the restaurant in Las Vegas and in Los Angeles, and the bakery at the Venetian, going to the bakery in Los Angeles was on my final to do list. Not that anything is different, but the conqueror of all food in me wanted to just go. Directly below the Bouchon restaurant right across the Montage courtyard is the small Bouchon Bakery. There, a display of cakes and endless colorful macarons catch your eye immediately. With eyes bigger than my stomach, I started to order.

The Boston Cream doughnut was my first bite. All the chocolate got on the bag and left me with a mess…and not enough chocolate. The doughnut was a bit greasy and each bite filled my mouth with oil. I mean, a donut from a pink box is pretty perfect, a glazed donut from Krispy Kreme, even better. This “gourmet” doughnut, on the other hand didn’t have any qualities of a good donut.

Macarons are a must at Bouchon. I ordered the caramel and pistachio flavored macaron. Both were exceptional as always. The caramel had a nice burnt caramel taste. It was sweet and delicious. The pistachio was good and had a nice rounded out flavor. If ordering macarons these two flavors are a must.

Another item to consider is the pain au chocolate. A classic for sure at any French bakery, this chocolate filled croissant was flakey to the max. You don’t want to eat this in your friends new car. What was even more flakey and sweet was their kouign amann. This was amazing. This pastry was filled with layers of butter and sugar. I was almost too sweet, but in a good way.

Did I eat all of these pastries in one sitting? Maybe. Was it an awesome day with perfect weather at the courtyard? Yes! Whenever I go to Bouchon Bakery, I need to get as many things as possible. That way, I can try them all. Most other bakeries, I would just get one item and be happy with it. Here, it’s like I’m at a candy shop and get an assortment of things. Bouchon Bakery is always a good idea. Always.

Bouchon Bakery on Urbanspoon

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