Category Archives: Dessert

Marion Crepes – Pop-up Store @ Torrance Mitsuwa

21515 S Western Ave
Torrance, CA 90501
 

Marion Crepes, the famous patisserie from Harajuku in Tokyo, has a pop-up store inside the Torrance Mitsuwa for a limited time!!!  I chanced upon it while I lunched at the food court last week, and vowed to be back during the weekend when I had more time.  The pop-up store will run until 3/30/2014, and there’s a 30 minute break daily between 4pm -4:30pm.

The line was pretty long today.  We waited in line for about 15-20 minutes just to place our order.  Once our order was in, we waited another 5 minutes for the crepes to be made.  There are only 2 workers at the pop-up store, so expect a bit of a wait.

 

 

The display case with the model crepes.  There are so many choices!  It’s mostly dessert crepes, with 2 different savory tuna crepes.

 

There’s also the option of adding additional toppings.  Go for the green tea ice cream!

 

All of the crepes are made fresh-to-order.

 

We got the #16 – nutella with banana crepe, and added the green tea ice cream.  The nutella crepe is a warm crepe, so they left the crepe on the pan longer – the result is a wonderful crispy wafer cookie texture.  The green tea ice cream really complemented the crepe – it’s so rich and creamy!  The gooey warm nutella and banana are winning combinations with the crepe.  So yummy!  $7.09 including tax

 

For sure, will be back before the pop-up store closes, so that I can try the other flavors!  🙂

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Churros Calientes

11521 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(424) 248-3890
 
churroscalientes.com
http://www.yelp.com/biz/churros-calientes-los-angeles
 

Ever since our Europe trip to Spain last year, my friends and I have been scouting for a Spanish-style churros place in LA.  So we were really excited to see that there’s a highly-reviewed one in West LA!!!  Churros Calientes is a very small place, easily missed if you’re driving along Santa Monica Blvd.  We went on a Sunday and it was pretty easy to find metered street parking in the area.  We went at the perfect time, because we snagged the last table — can’t imagine how crowded it must be normally; I think it fits 12-15 the most inside.  There are just a few tables, with a few bar seatings.

Besides churros, Churros Calientes also has a small menu of soups, salads and bocadillos (Spanish style small sandwiches).  As we came here after lunch, we didn’t get to try them.  Next time!

 

Look for the sign and the al fresco seating!

 

The bar seating area – as you can see, the place is pretty narrow….

 

We liked the handprints along the wall!

 

The churros con chocolat!  An order comes with 6 pieces of the churros with a small cup of the chocolate.  Very close to the ones at Chocolateria San Gines in Madrid, except the chocolate at Churros Calientes has a bit of almond flavor. The hot chocolate was rich and chocolatey, without being overly sweet.  The churros were light and crunchy.  We went for the original but you can also order filled/topped churros (chocolate, strawberry, guava, etc).  Yummy!  $6.75

 

The coffees at Churros Calientes are actually quite good as well!  The café con leche aka latte came in a large mug.  $4

 

Enjoy a leisurely afternoon, with some churros con chocolat, coffee and soothing flamenco music!

Blockheads Shavery

11311 Mississippi Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Neighborhood: West Los Angeles

(310) 445-8725

 

Finally, there is a Taiwanese snow shaved ice place in West LA!  No more trekking to Rowland Heights to Class 302 just to satisfy more cravings.  ^ ^  Thanks to Connie H for posting the pics on FB and spreading the word!  This place just opened a little over 2 months ago and there’s a long line out the door every time I’ve been!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Taiwanese snow shaved ice, the ice itself is flavored (yes, so it’s a block of flavored ice being shaved) and the texture is smooth, like snow (hence the name).  You’re then free to choose toppings like mochi rice cake, pudding, red bean etc.  To finish it off, condensed milk or other kinds of syrup is drizzled on top.

At Blockheads Shavery, you start off by choosing the flavor of the ice, followed by the 30+ different topping choices, then the drizzle. For those of you who are overwhelemd by all the choices, there are some popular combos listed under the “Favorites” section.

Word of warning – they do run out of flavors and toppings, so do your best to get there early.  I’ve tried the green tea, black sesame and strawberry (tastes just like strawberry ice cream!) are all excellent.  Recommended toppings:  boba, rice cake, egg pudding.  I think all three are made fresh daily.  Portion size is pretty big.  One regular size shaved ice can be easily split among 2-3 people.

 

The menu – the flavors and toppings change depending on the day

 

Green tea shaved ice with red bean and rice cake, drizzled with condensed milk.  $4.50

 

Black sesame shaved ice with rice cake.  The black sesame flavor is so good!  And I’ve only seen it here.  🙂   $4

Japanese Village – DTLA

335 E 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

This is located at the corner of 1st and Alameda.  It’s not really a village – more like a cluster of restaurants and shops.  Love coming here ever since my college days.  There are so many delicious Japanese foods, ranging from sushi to ramen, in Little Tokyo.  Today I’m sharing my must-have treats when I’m in the area.

 

Imagawayaki aka red-bean cake 紅豆餅

Mitsuru Cafe

117 Japanese Village Plz Mall
Los Angeles, CA 90012

(213) 613-1028

http://www.yelp.com/biz/mitsuru-cafe-los-angeles

Back in the college days, we’d stop by this place for weekend lunches.  Nowadays, it seems like the red-bean cake is the main attraction.  Basically, get in line, tell the cashier what you’d like to order, pay and grab your order.  The cafe itself is small, so it’s the only shop in the village that you’ll see a line out the door during the weekends.  The red-bean cake is really moist and chewy, and the red-bean filling is not too sweet.  It’s still good even when it’s not hot anymore!  Yum!

Watch your red-bean cakes being made!

 

Ice Cream & Mochi Ice Cream

Mikawaya

118 Japanese Village Plz Mall
Los Angeles, CA 90012

(213) 624-1681

http://www.yelp.com/biz/mikawaya-los-angeles

Yes, this is the Mikawaya of the mochi ice cream fame.  Know the ones that you’d buy at Trader Joes or the grocery stores?  Well, there are a few Mikawaya stores around LA.  The downtown one specializes in the ice cream, gelato (recently added) and mochi ice cream.  The Gardena location sells different types of mochi sweets.  I always make it a point to stop in here if I’m in the area.  The ice cream and mochi ice cream is THAT good.  The mochi on the mochi ice cream just tastes so soft and fresh! Recently, Mikawaya added gelato and mochilado (mochi gelato) but I don’t think they’re as good as the ice cream variety.  This place is CASH ONLY!

 

The store front

 

The famous mochi ice cream

 

The ice cream flavors (in clockwise order from top left): rainbow, green tea, kona coffee, mango, red bean and black walnut.

 

The prices:  1 scoop $2.55       2-scoops $3.55                  Mochi ice cream $1 each.  There are 2 scoopers, 1 for the ice cream line and 1 for the gelato line.

 

Our lovely round of mochi ice cream — green tea totally dominated!

Chado Tea Room – Little Tokyo

369 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 258-2531
 
http://www.yelp.com/biz/chado-tea-room-los-angeles-2
 
www.chadotea.com
 
Haven’t seen some of my girlfriends for a while, so we planned to meet for afternoon tea and settled on this place.  It’s in the heart of Little Tokyo, right next to the Japanese American Museum.  Parking could be hard to find in the area.  So, unless you get lucky with one of the few street meters, you’re better off parking at a lot that charges $3 – $5 a day.
 
It’s a nice place to spend a weekend afternoon.  The service is good and food is one of the better ones that I’ve had at afternoon teas.  I do wish that they use real flowers at the tables, and stop using any teapots that are chipped!  But, oh well, that’s just me.
 
According to our waitress, Chado Tea Room has over 250 tea selections
 
The restaurant also sells tea sets, tea cups, saucers, etc.
 
 
The outside seating.  Too bad the flowers were fake!
 
 
Afternoon tea set – $18 per person which includes 4 half sandwiches (smoked salmon, cucumber,curry egg and cranberry chicken), 1 scone, 1 cake and selection of tea.  The picture is the 2 person portion, so double of everything.   I’d recommend getting a few a la carte items instead of going for the set because there is just WAY too much food for 1 person.  There is a $3 splitting charge for afternoon tea sets.
The strawberries with creme is so good on the scones!
 
 
Bottom tier:  cakes and cookies
 
 
Going a la carte:  1/2 cucumber sandwich and 1/2 Mediterranean sandwich (olive tapenade with goat cheese, yum!).  $7.95
 
 
Teas could be brewed hot or iced.  Hot tea is served in a pot while iced teas come in a glass carafe.  This one is the apple mango with hibiscus.  Not too sweet and refreshing!  $2.75

Urth Caffe

www.urthcaffe.com

Downtown:   451 S Hewitt St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Venice/Santa Monica:  2327 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90407

Beverly Hills:  267 S Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90209

West Hollywood: 8565 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

 

Urth Caffe is a very popular coffee/tea/lunch/dessert spot.  There are four locations, all in LA, all listed above.  All four offer plenty of seating and are nice places to just sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee with dessert.  I’ve heard of celebrity sightings at the Melrose location.  Entourage, the HBO hit show, uses the Santa Monica store quite a lot in its episodes.

Superb organic coffee and teas, great desserts, free wifi, late hours – what else can you ask for in a coffee house?  Oh yeah, did I mention that they can draw whatever shape you’d like on your drink?  🙂

Recommended drinks:  spanish latte, Japanese green-tea latte, all of the teas.  The hot teas come in a kettle, and you can ask them to refill the hot water.  Note on the desserts – the portions are much larger than they seem.  One dessert should be split among 3 people.  Dessert highlights:  pumpkin pie, Bavarian fruit tart, napoleon, green-tea tiramisu, and any of the cheesecakes.

 

Receipt – they note the design that you want on your drink.  Popular designs include:  Hello Kitty, leaf, bear, swan, etc.

 

Green-tea/matcha tiramisu – I’ve only seen this at the DT location

 

Tada!  My green-tea latte and dessert