Indian sweets shop, Chinese bakeries
I'll be in Los Angeles in a few weeks, and I'll be searching for the ultimate Chinese cafe with delicious baked goods/sweets, or perhaps even a bakery w/ a storefront devoted to them. I'd also like to find an Indian sweets shop with a large selection of goodies (think gulab jamun, burfi, etc.)
I currently live in Florida, and my last experiences that matched my utopian vision of such places were in Toronto's Chinatown (many years ago) and in the Atlanta suburb of Decatur, which has a large Indian population.
Any recommendations in metro LA that would fulfill this dream would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance!
ps: I'd also like to find a Japanese desserts shop or grocery with a nice selection of sweet mochi cakes.
There's almost a good bakery on every block in the San Gabriel Valley! I'll start off with a couple. For a modern dim sum type of emphasis (e.g., hot dog bao, ham and egg bao, chicken tarts) there's Kee Wah Bakery with locations on the NE corner of Atlantic and Garvey in Monterey Park and in the small center in front of San Gabriel Square in San Gabriel. For a little more on the sweet side I like Best Bakery in the Valley Supermarket shopping center in Alhambra (roughly 1200 E. block). But there are literally dozens to choose from around there.
The Chinese bakery part of the question is a tough one. Los Angeles is not like San Francisco or New York which have large numbers of Chinese cafe/bakeries serving dim sum and sweet goods with a sometimes extensive seating area. There are lots of great Chinese bakeries here, but most of them are storefronts without seats. There are a few bakeries in L.A. Chinatown with tables, but these places generally specialize in low cost, and not high quality stuff. I vaguely remember one or two bakery/cafes in the San Gabriel valley with seating, but am drawing a blank for now.
For Japanese mochi and manju, the best place is in Gardena (in the South Bay - south of LAX). Their mochi is super soft and keep longer than some others. They are a family owned shop and do not have product in the Japanese markets. But it is worth a little trip! Have fun in LA and happy eating!
16134 S Western Ave
Gardena, CA 90247-3710
Marukai, Mitsuwa, Mikawaya market in Little Tokyo, downtown LA. Mikawaya specializes in mochi - it was founded there.
Pinkberry is a frozen yogurt and fresh fruit dessert rave in LA. It has multiple locations. There is one in downtown (if you want to kill two birds with one stone).
There are a couple of shops like India Sweets and Spices along Venice Blvd. in Culver City that would fit.
The largest concentration of Indian stores is in Artesia/Cerritos some distance away from downtown but part of the metropolis.