Chocolate and chocolate. Chocolate on chocolate on chocolate on chocolate. Chocolate. Everyone loves this stuff. Girls devour it after breakups. Guys say they don’t like chocolate, but secretly love this stuff. I am sure chocolate has some kind of chemical that makes us happy. That is we love it so much. Max Brenner, an Israeli chocolate shop, uses the powers of chocolate to entice their customers. From hot chocolates, chocolate pops, and monstrous chocolate chip cookies, chocolate is definaltey the name of the game at this restaurant. Upon ordering off of the dinner menu, my eyes were wide open for the dessert.

I wanted to try the mac and cheese, and I was surprised. Called the Really Cheesy, Really Crunchy Mac and Cheese, the taste was perfect, though not too cheesy. The noodles were al dente, something missed in a lot of mac and cheese dishes. Help from the applewood smoked bacon gave it that salty flavor. Baked in a large skillet, it was enough as a complete meal. The maranara sauce in the flask was interesting, and delicious – It transformed the dish completely, giving the dish a robust flavor profile. As for the diced tomatoes, I did not care much for it. This dish was delicious in itself. Sensing a lack of meat, I ordered some.

Another table ordered the Thai style chicken satay, and I thought it looked good. The chicken were grilled perfectly, and the meat was soft, almost too soft. The barbecue sauce was disappointing — it was like the ones from the dollar store. Fortunately, the hoisin like sauce was more of my liking. The best part of the dish was the That style slaw. Mixed with peanuts, peppers, lettuce, and a sweet sauce, it was a perfect compliment to the chicken.

Now that we had savory out of the way, I was excited about dessert. I decided to order the cold iced chocolate, chocolate pizza with the works, and as an after thought, the chocolate chip cookie.

I was utterly disappointed with the dessert I ordered. The chocolate chunks dessert pizza was lacking in every way. Topped with melted chocolate, hazelnuts, bananas, peanut butter, and roasted marshmallows, it was all a sugary mix. The ingredients would have been perfect if the pizza dough was better. The dough was just a thick piece of dough and didn’t resemble anything pizza dough like. Even frozen microwave pizza had better dough. I imagined and yearned for dough that was like that of a gooey Wetzels Pretzels or a doughnut. I wasn’t getting my chocolate fix at all.

The Pure Chocolate Truffle Granita was chocolate in ice cold liquid form. It was basically dark chocolate truffle blended with ice. At first, I was in remorse after finding out the drink didn’t contain any ice cream, but this turned into a blessing in disguise. The pureness of the chocolate shined with ever sip. A bit on the bitter side, it was a little drinking really good coffee without any creamer. Why ruin a good cup of coffee with creamer? In this case, the ice cream was perfect not in this drink. As for the DRINK ME cup, this was a play on the movie Alice in Wonderland. These whimsical accents made this drink fun and exciting.

The chocolate chip cookie is such a classic, it’s the favorite among the masses. The cookies at Max Brenner are monstrous. Each one costing $5, they are well worth it. Warm and fluffy on the inside, and crispy on the outside, there is no doubt that they were bakes not too long ago. Each bite was perfectly chocolatey and delicious. The chocolate was of the highest quality, and each bite had mostly chocolate. In hind site, these would have been perfect with the iced chocolate drink. How perfect would that have been?

Honestly, this place is all about the dessert. If you plan on eating dinner here, eat elsewhere. Yeah, you will get some good eats, but save this place for a dessert only. Do get their interesting desserts, do skip the dessert pizza, and opt for their chocolate chip cookie. You can get a chocolate over load, and buy some stuff for a chocolate overload for another time. The Israeli know their chocolates. Max Brenner is a true testament to that. Check out their online store here, and maybe you can get a chocolate overload as well.

Max Brenner on Urbanspoon


I remember watching The Food Network with Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes. He did a feature on Los Angeles in the show Sugar High. He visited Auntie Em’s Kitchen in Eagle Rock and tried these really thin chocolate chip cookies. Since then, I have been itching to visit this place and try the cookies, so I made a day of it. Long past due, I felt it was better late than never. Painted red on the outside amongst somewhat dull looking buildings, the restaurant stood out like a sore thumb. Inside, the seating area was casual, yet you know it wasn’t your typical breakfast and lunch spot. I was here for the cookies, red velvet cupcake, and a sandwich.

We started off with the cookie. This as ever, the cookie was crunchy. Though Duff Goldman said it was chewy on the inside, mine was just crunchy all around. His was probably straight out of the oven. The chocolate chips were squished down, and I realized this could be the thinnest chocolate chip cookie in the world. Each crispy bite was sweet and delicious, though I wanted that chewy and crunchy factor really badly. If only I could get them straight out of the oven as well. It was a good start of a meal — typical of me to start with a dessert cookie first, but I had something a little sweater at the end.

I shared the BLAST sandwich. BLAST was an acronym for apple-wood smoked bacon, lettuce, avocado, sprouts, and tomato. And no, it isn’t technically ALAST, as the bacon is key here. They stack that stuff on, and its not too salty either. It is in between rosemary focaccia and the bread is lathered on with a lot of mayo. I typically don’t like heavy mayo, but this pseudo-BLT sandwich was delicious with it. I am a sucker for sprouts inside of sandwiches, and this one hits the spot.

My dessert, the sweetest cupcake I ever had, was their red velvet cupcake. This thing had as much cream cheese frosting as the cake. The cake was moist as ever, and the frosting was thick and gooey. The taste almost reminded me of the red velvet cupcake at Sprinkles, but I liked the texture of the frosting here better. It was gooey, almost like caramel, but still held its shape. I’d come here again just for this cupcake.

I had a nice time here. The location is a bit away from everything, and to be honest, Auntie Em’s Kitchen is not on the way to anything. Close to Eagle Rock and Glendale though, it was worth trying out. I was impressed with their lunch items and turned into a fan of their cupcakes. I would like to think that this place is more of a dessert and bakery shop that does sandwiches. With that said, going with their sweets is the way to go.

Here is a video I found of Aunti Em’s Kitchen on Food Network I mentioned in the beginning. See how they made those uber thin chocolate chip cookies.

Auntie Em's Kitchen on Urbanspoon


Lunchy Lunch – Canned Meat Sandwiches

by Franklin on April 14, 2011

Meat is so delicious. Beef, chicken, bacon, fish, whatever. It is so good. Meat from a can though? Really? Well, I eat it. I know it’s not gourmet or anything, but that doesn’t mean its not good. Yeah, so I have a little guilty pleasure for Spam. Big whoop! I’m Asian, and I like my Spam. Actually, I love Spam, and these sandwiches were yummy. So what sandwiches of canned meat did I have? If you haven’t guess by looking at the pictures, it was Spam and tuna. Not on the same sandwich, of course.

My girlfriend packed us some lunch before heading off to Disneyland. I’m a pretty lucky guy, I know. Sandwiches and cookies — can’t get any better. The Spam was on an English muffin and had egg and cheese. The tuna was just mixed in with some mayo and cheese. Both were tasty and filling.  We finished it off with some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.  It’s a classic, and always makes me happy.

If you haven’t tried Spam before, give it a whirl. It’s not gourmet, or classy, but come on. It’s good. Pardon my Lost reference, but if I were to be stuck on an Island like Jack Shephard and John Locke, what would I take? Beef? No, it’ll spoil. Fish? I’m on an island, remember? There’s plenty of seafood. Chicken? Nope. Spam! 🙂


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