Sunday, June 3, 2012

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The Best Bakeries in Los Angeles

Last weekend, I flew out to California to visit my best friend, Alicia, with plans to lay out, veg out, and dine out. But, then, she unexpectedly had to work on Sunday, which left her hubs with the job of babysitting me. Like me, he's a dessert addict, but because of Alicia's opposition to sugar, he suppresses his love of sweets. He rebelled. We took a tour of the best bakeries in Los Angeles—and ate multiple treats at every one. 

Porto's Bakery & Cafe in Glendale
We began our journey at Porto's Cafe, a Cuban bakery and sandwich shop—by far the cheapest of our stops. Our first pick was a Blueberry Yogurt Cupcake. Unfortunately, the presentation was the best part. The blueberry flavor was disappointingly mild, and the cake just tasted like normal yellow cake. 

Next up was the Cheese Roll, a flaky Cuban pastry that was absolutely delicious. (The filling was cheese like you'd find in a cheese danish, not the kind on a sandwich.) And it only cost $.70. Amazing.

We saved the best for last: Oreo Cheesecake. Creamy, sufficiently cookie-filled, and perfectly dense.

Next stop: Susina Bakery & Cafe. Warning: If you go here, ask the prices before making a purchase. The desserts are expensive! 

We started with Susina's signature cake, the Berry Blossom. The menu description made it sound delicious...

Three layers of vanilla sponge cake brushed with orange liquer, filled with white chocolate mousse and fresh berries. Decorated with crumbled meringue and white chocolate shavings. 

Sadly, this was another disappointment. The orange liquer was undetectable. The too-sweet mousse drowned out the berries. It just tasted like a heap of sugar. Not a Berry Blossom, whatever that means. And it cost me a small fortune. 

Don't be fooled by the appearance of decadence.
Next was the Apple Pie. Although equally expensive, this buttery, cinnamon- and sugar-coated baby was well worth the money. It was similar to traditional apple crumble, one of my favorite desserts, but with a more shortbread-like crust.

We wrapped up our day of gluttony at Sprinkles Cupcakes, just off of Rodeo Drive. 

First up was the Carrot Cake Cupcake. I very nearly housed it in three bites. It was that good. The cake was moist, and the portion of icing was generous...exactly what I like in my cupcakes. 

Next up: Red Velvet Cupcake. Not bad, not amazing.

We finished with the Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcake. The frosting, made from dark chocolate, was a little too bitter for my sensitive sweet tooth. The marshmallow filling, however, was quite delightful, since I am a fan of sugar whipped into a fluffy frenzy. 

It was hard work finding the filling!