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7
June
2005

Los Angeles Dessert Tour

View out the front door at Sprinkles

My love for dessert took on a new life after I moved to New York and passed bakery after bakery while walking down the street. I started going on mini dessert tours almost accidentally since it was so easy to stop in several good places within a few blocks of each other. I love comparing desserts and seeing differences in style between bakeries, and wanted to try this same type of tour in my hometown of Los Angeles. While back home this past weekend, I recruited my mom and nine year old cousin, Christopher, to test out a few bakeries that had been recommended to me by locals and fellow bakers.

Our first stop was at Pastries by Edie, a small bakery in Canoga Park (better known as “The Valley”) that seems to be a favorite with celebrities. Their walls are lined with pictures of everyone from Michael Jackson to Heather Locklear, and they have long served famous restaurants and hotels around the area. Located in a less than desirable part of town (which is being cleaned up), the store is nicely set back from the street by a large patio area filled with plants and wrought iron tables. The interior of the shop has faux windows and planters lining dark blue walls, and you feel like you’ve left the valley and been transported to a country cottage.

Interior of Pastries by Edie

While the atmosphere isn’t my style, I was impressed by the selection of pastries and gelato available. Most of their pastries are available in bite sized portions (including the Swedish Princess Cake that looked delicious), so you can have an assortment of small desserts or just test out a small piece before ordering a larger version for an event. The incredibly nice counter person told us that their Tiramisu is very popular, but we decided to go with the Trio Mousse, which includes layers of white, milk and dark chocolate mousse and the Caramel Apple Mousse which has layers of cream, apples, caramel and crepe. Each were only $1.50 and were very good, but I might stick with delivery from this bakery since there aren’t many other reasons to hang out in this part of town.

Trio Mousse

Caramel Apple Mousse

After visiting Edie’s, my mom and I picked Christopher up from school at 3:00pm and headed to West Los Angeles where most of the bakeries on my list were located. This was our biggest mistake of the day. Any local knows that the traffic is next to impossible on the 405 freeway on Friday afternoons (or any afternoon for that matter.) We hit bumber-to-bumper traffic and I seriously questioned my sanity for trying to attempt a dessert tour in a city where everything is so far apart you have to drive. Luckily for me my mom is as dedicated (or crazy) as I am about finding great desserts, and she was willing to carry on. The traffic limited the amount of places we were able to get to, but we did manage to visit three places in West LA that were all worth the drive.

Our next stop was in Beverly Hills (yes, 90210) at Sprinkles, a bakery that specializes in trendy flavored cupcakes like Chai Latte and Ginger Lemon. Flavors vary daily, but standards like Vanilla and Dark Chocolate are always available. They also have cupcakes made specially for dogs, and they carry the Cup-a-Cake container to take your purchase home safely with you.

Cupcakes at Sprinkles

With its modern, minimalist decor and high prices ($3.25/cupcake) this store reminded me of something that would fit perfectly in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Despite the New York feel, there was no mistaking you were in LA and not NYC since you could see palm trees and Rodeo Drive right outside the front door. We ultimately decided to buy the Pumpkin and Dark Chocolate cupcake along with the special carob cupcake for Christopher’s dog Maggie. We were impressed by the Pumpkin cupcake but felt the chocolate frosting was better at Bea’s Bakery and other bakeries we had been to before. Sprinkles is a fun, modern bakery that fits well in Beverly Hills, but we wonder how long it can stay in business selling cupcakes alone.

The next stop, K Chocolatier, was the highlight of the day. We found it accidentally after Christopher pointed out a chocolate shop he saw across the street from Sprinkles. Christopher clearly has an eye for excellent chocolate since this was no average chocolate store. It turns out that K Chocolatier is made by Diane Krön, the same owner of a chain of high-end chocolate shops in New York in the 1970s called Krön Chocolatier. Diane says she prefers to keep a low profile these days and is content with her small store that can barely hold 5 people.

Krön Chocolatier, and now K Chocolatier, has a history of serving famous celebrities like Andy Warhol and Jacqueline Kennedy, but what impressed me most about this shop was how willing Diane was to help out a few average strangers that walked through her door. She has large boxes of K Bears (little crispy teddy bear shapes covered in milk, dark and white chocolate) and K Truffles (dark chocolate with whipped centers) on the counter, and gives out as many samples as you can eat. She also has a line of K Sensual Herbal Chocolates that use over 15 herbs to enhance certain “experiences,” but those were kept safely behind the counter and out of the reach of children.

K Chocolatier K Bears

She’s happy to show you the beautiful flower boxes and cute little bags that her candy comes in, and will answer any questions without pressure to buy. I would love to come back and buy one of the flower boxes filled with truffles, but at a price of $125, that will have to wait for a very special occasion.

Rose box from K Chocolatier

With traffic building and an hour drive back home ahead of us, we were only able to make it to one more bakery. Just down the street from Sprinkles and K Chocolatier we found a small bakery called Clementine. Unlike the previous bakeries we visited, Clementine serves breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea which includes a collection of sandwiches, scones and “dainty sweets” ($18.95/person.) After filling up on cupcakes and chocolates we decided to buy a variety of breakfast items to take home for the next morning. We picked the Strawberry Scone, Sunshine Corn Cake, Banana Walnut Bread and Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffin.

Clementine breakfast items

Christopher also picked out a package of homemade coffee flavored marshmallows ($6/pack.) While light and fluffy, both Christopher and I thought the coffee flavor was a little unusual in this context. Our favorite pick from the bakery was the Sunshine Corn Cake, and if I went back again I’d also like to try the Moravian Sugar Bread which looked delicious.

Los Angeles has many great places for dessert, but I would recommend focusing on just one place and avoiding the hassle of driving between different locations. Next time I go back I hope to try Jin Patisserie and Boule, each on separate days. One final note about going on a dessert tour in Los Angeles; be prepared to feel full, very full. Nobody walks in LA, even after eating cupcakes and marshmallows.

Pastries by Edie
21608 Sherman Way
Canoga Park, CA 91303
(818) 340-0203
www.pastriesbyedie.com

Sprinkles Cupcakes
9636 Little Santa Monica Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 274-8765
www.sprinklescupcakes.com

K Chocolatier
9606 Little Santa Monica Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310)248-2626
www.dkron.com

Clementine
1751 Ensley Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 552-1080
www.clementineonline.com



14 COMMENTS SO FAR...

Candy says on June 7th, 2005 at 11:02 pm:

I’ll be going home to Southern Cal (Orange County) later this month and I always spend a few eating and shopping days in LA – thanks for the list!

tanvi says on June 8th, 2005 at 1:56 am:

lol your comment on the 405 made me laugh hard. as a fellow angeleno (well for the school year anyway) i feel your frustration. that freeway is impossible, as is traffic in general in la.

i was thinking the same thing about sprinkles- it seems like cupcakes are the best thing to sell singly, especially in los angeles. cute shop though. im excited to try out K Chocolatier- ive never heard of it but it sounds amazing! thanks for the tip :-)

LAURIE says on June 8th, 2005 at 12:54 pm:

extremely interesting tour, to say the least…one would do well to start out early in the day & eat their way thru to the pre-rush hour! looking foward to more adventures of a fellow chocolate lover!

Julie says on June 8th, 2005 at 1:17 pm:

Hi,
Some of your stops are my fave places to visit, and I was so glad to be reminded of a few that I’d forgotten. K Chocolatier is so wonderful, I stumbled upon it a couple years ago and fell in love. The rose boxes are gorgeous, and the all you can eat samples are generous and decadent. Thank you also for the mention of Bea’s Bakery. It was started many years ago by my Great Uncle who named it after my Great Aunt Bea and is now run by his son, my Cousin. I remember going in there as a child and getting to pick out anything I wanted, from behind the counter! Such a treat.
Love your blog! Keep writing….
Julie

Tamar says on June 8th, 2005 at 7:32 pm:

Definitely try the Moravian Sugar Bread at Clementine, it’s my favorite thing there. I go out of my way whenever I can to stop by and pick some up. The apricot buns are also quite good if they’re fresh. Very yeasty.

Kelli says on June 8th, 2005 at 10:32 pm:

It’s exciting to see so many LA readers! Thank you for your comments. I agree about the Moravian bread — I regretted not buying it as soon as I left the store. I guess it’s always best to leave something to come back for.

Julie– It’s so nice to hear Bea’s Bakery is still in the family. It’s a wonderful place. I mentioned it the other day when I did an interview about cupcakes on All Cupcakes All the Time. Best of luck to your cousin.

Janet says on June 9th, 2005 at 2:00 pm:

I live in Southern California and haven’t been to any of these fabulous places! It’s tragic!

Julie says on June 10th, 2005 at 8:09 pm:

Thanks again, you’re so sweet. On another note, I’m not sure where you are in NYC, but if you’re in Brooklyn, or are game to venture out there for some fabulous dessert, I highly recommend The Chocolate Room at 86 Fifth Ave in Park Slope. http://www.thechocolateroombrooklyn.com
They have a dark chocolate bistro bar with apricot caramel from Chocolat Moderne that I am still dreaming about months after visiting. City Bakery also carries them. Oh, I’m making my mouth water….
Cheers,
Julie

Aunt Monique says on June 27th, 2005 at 2:13 pm:

Everything looks great! I am so proud of you. LOVE YOU

Marsha says on November 3rd, 2007 at 9:36 pm:

I love your choices, though I had a bit of a bad experience at Pastry by Edie. I ordered a pastry to go and found the lady at the counter stuffing tissue paper into the box and then weighing it. She proceeded to take it off the scale and place more tissue paper in it. I found that to be a bit inappropriate.

Jj says on July 20th, 2008 at 7:37 am:

Oh my does all of that look GOOD! And your pictures turned out great – really does everything justice.

This sounds like fun – but woe to the waistline! Lol. Thanks for a great share.

Jackie says on November 10th, 2008 at 10:15 am:

I love this entry! I’m heading to LA at the end of the year and look forward to trying some of these places.

Kelly says on March 9th, 2009 at 2:48 pm:

One of my friends got me a box of chocolates from K Chocolatier and they were lovely! What pretty pictures!

Miranda says on March 24th, 2009 at 12:34 pm:

Enjoy your blog…
Stop by if you have a chance.



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