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Who can replace Massimo's Chocolate Cake

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milkweed May 13, 2007 05:34 PM

Since he went back to China, I am desperate to find a replacement to his incredible chocolate fudge cake. He made his own chocolate! Can anyone help? It's my friend's 60th birthday in June. Thanks to everyone. You're great.

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    bulavinaka RE: milkweed May 13, 2007 06:49 PM

    I haven't scoured all the bakeries of So Cal looking for a replacement, but I do go to a fair amount of bakeries in the Westside and any others I stumble upon outside of the Westside. I have yet to find anything even remotely similar to Massimo's pre-RainbowAcresBuyout chocolate cakes, especially his hazelnut tortes. Great question, Milkweed - hopefully someone out there does know...

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    1. re: bulavinaka
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      milkweed RE: bulavinaka May 20, 2007 08:26 AM

      Thank you Bulavinaka.
      My friend and I went to Vickor Bene's, Buttercakes, Hotcakes, Junior's, Sweet Lady Jane's and 26 Beach cafe. Nothing,

      Then tried John Caprice's on Pico and decided his ganache was adequate, especially with mocha filling. The opera cake was quite good, too. So we're going with him. He's a talented, lively chef and great to work with.

      We'll be grieving Massimo for years to come. .

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        bulavinaka RE: milkweed May 20, 2007 08:44 AM

        I'm still holding out some hope that he may be back, only because his wife's sister lives in LA (at least used to). I feel a little betrayed that he sold out to Rainbow Acres - not that they're a bad bunch - it's just that you can't replace a guy like Massimo with his talent and passion.

        I still remember once walking into his shop near closing, and his wife was helping make a batch of gelato - the one with green apple and caramel - she walked out to the counter from the kitchen holding a ladel with about a cup of the gelato stuck to it. She asked if I'd be interested in trying some - HELL YES! She got out a carton, scraped off the ladel, and handed it to me with a spoon. She told me that she prefers gelato at this stage - just as it's finishing and before it's packaged and frozen. My first taste sent trumpets blowing and angels flying... With memories like that, I'm ruined, but at the same time thankful...

        Where is John Caprice's? Or are you referring to Caprice in Santa Monica? I'm kinda piecing together John as Jean-Louis, who owns Caprice, which is on Pico across the street from Trader Joe's in Santa Monica...

        1. re: milkweed
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          broncosaurus RE: milkweed May 20, 2007 11:14 AM

          Not a mocha fan, but I'd kill for a killer choco cake. Kill a roastable pig, anyway. Haven't found a good commercial one yet in LA.

          1. re: broncosaurus
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            bulavinaka RE: broncosaurus May 20, 2007 06:25 PM

            Hey Bronc, I don't know if you ever had a chance to try Massimo's chocolate cakes, but they were out of this world. I can't vouch for them now as Massimo sold his business to Rainbow Acres, a small health food chain. I believe the shop is now run by one of Massimo's former assistants. As much as I want to say how wonderful it still is, I can't comment because it's been about four monthes since my last visit and about 8-12 monthes since my last chocolate cake experience there. And upon discovering Chowhound, I've read some underwhelming comments about Massimo's.

            Their chocolate tortes - with hazlnut or raspberry essence - were my favorites. At $3.75 per slice, I wouldn't call them inexpensive, but what a great eating experience. I'd reward my mechanic with them doing his usual great job on my car - it's amazing how he'd always look forward to working on my car when I'd come in. :)

            I'll have to make a point on swinging by Massimo's again this week some time and I'll report back...

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              broncosaurus RE: bulavinaka May 20, 2007 09:39 PM

              Unfortuantely I never did, and it looks like I never may from recent observations. Looking forward to your report.

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