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Jul 10, 2001 08:50 PM

Moist Cake (Lemon)

  • b

There was a post earlier about the Brown Derby at MGM and it reminded me of this cake I had at the Invited Guest check-in at MGM. Its a really moist, yet firm cake and the texture itself is cake-like, yet it is extremely moist...almost saturated with some kind of lemon juice. Anyone know what this is or where I can get it?

Thanks in advance.

BTW..what are the best pastry bakeries on the westside? I know there are a few good ones in Beverly hills, but where else?

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  1. c
    Carolyn Tillie

    I can offer recipes for ultra-moist lemon cakes offline (I don't think this list appreciates recipe exchanges).

    As far as pastry bakeries on the westside I have two suggestions:

    Bonjour French Pastry
    18222 S. Western Avenue, Gardena.
    This is surreal as it is in a grungy strip-mall. Behind the counter are 90-pound Japanese girls who look like dolls. Behind them is a shuttered room with your traditional white-clad French pastry masters concoting the most amazing French pastries I've ever known. What is so surreal is that they also translate their knowledge of delicate mousse into elegant genoise-bottomed mousse of green tea. My favorite is a pastry that is always just billed as "Today's Special"... On a small gold plate lies a light, crisp biscuit. Atop the biscuit is a chocolate mouse to die for. Surrounding the mousse is a sweetened crumb to add texture. In the middle of the mousse is a candied pear. Atop the mousse are a selection of whole nuts: a hazelnut, pecan, cashew, and their disk of signature chocolate. Must try for desserts!

    The other westside pastry shop is Babette's in Long Beach. Their main set of ovens is located in yet another grungy strip mall on the corner of Long Beach Boulevard and PCH (I think). They also have a nice bistro-like branch in Belmont Shore called Babette's Feast at 4621 East Second Street. Babette's is known for providing the pastries for such restaurants as L'Opera but at their private locations, the desserts are half-price. I go to Babette's for their palmier cookies, biscotti, but most especially for their Opera cake. I have yet to find a better offering of such.

    Babette's Feast includes lunch offerings of crepes, soups, sandwiches, as well as good breads. Bonjour is desserts only.

    18 Replies
    1. re: Carolyn Tillie

      Gardena and Long Beach.

      Not what I would consider Westside. Long Beach is South Bay, and Gardena is, well, not Westside.


      1. re: paul h.
        Carolyn Tillie

        I believe that so many people limit themselves to their close, geographic region. In my eyes, the larger picture of Los Angeles is that there is the Valley, east of downtown, west of downtown, and Orange County.

        By keeping those four regions in mind, I am willing to drive within a given area for good food. By limiting myself to only the "Westside" or "Pasadena," I would be limiting my experiences.

        1. re: Carolyn Tillie

          Yeah sure, a chowhound would drive miles for a good meal, however, I don't see how you can include Long Beach in the geographical area of "westside". Sure it's west of you if you live in Palm Springs, but....

          1. re: Carolyn Tillie
            More of Everything

            I agree with Caroyln's sentiments. Besides Paul's geography is a little off anyway, Long Beach is not the South Bay.

            1. re: More of Everything

              I don't think anyone is disagreeing with Carolyn's sentiments, but I dispute Long Beach being considered the westside. This isn't the first time Carolyn has made LA geography mistakes (see posts about Usbekistan), I think she should just be a grown up and admit she made a mistake.

              1. re: FredF
                Carolyn Tillie

                I am on four other foodie chat lists and I have never had to endure so much angst, name-calling, and general rudeness amongst such folks as I have experienced on this list. From my very first post, I have been corrected and snidely commented on.

                I may have made errors but is that reason for bashing me?

                With all due respect to the dear friend who introduced me to this list, farewell.

                1. re: Carolyn Tillie

                  We'll miss your perceptive houndness, Carolyn, & use SPF 10,000 on that thin skin.

                  1. re: Carolyn Tillie

                    I've enjoyed your posts, which started with your cool photo essay of your Dali dinner. You've got creativity and perserverance to do that! I'm from the Midwest and I make an effort to read your posts based on that original effort of yours. Don't let a bunch of nitpickers 'dis you off the board. You've got lots to contribute and share--it's not all about California, ya know. You have the chowhound spirit -blow off the posters who can't share or nit pick yoru contributions. P.S. I want to know what you next big dinner is.

                    1. re: berkleybabe

                      I'm with berkleybabe, I'd be sorry not to read Carolyn's postings anymore, and hope she'll reconsider. I agree with you and some of the other posters that Carolyn might have shrugged off irrelevant stuff like niggling contradictions on geographical terms.

                      In any case, I'm not sure I agree that the tone of threads here has been full of "angst, name-calling, and general rudeness" (with the exception of some random angry nuts whose remarks our moderators have deleted). I think it's been more testy and nitpicking.

                      Of course, those qualities ARE thoroughly inappropriate in a food discussion. But while we delete personal attacks and offensive posts, we can't moderate tone without being invasive.

                      As in any community, there are people and remarks which should simply be ignored.


                    2. re: Carolyn Tillie

                      This message board exists to promote the exchange of information about good food. A significant part of the pleasure of dining is the camaraderie that forms between those who share delicious edibles. Though the men and women who share information on do not often get the chance to get together for food, we are a community of sorts and the camaraderie we know from our groaning tables extends invisibly into our communications with one another here, so that we enjoy trading finds, insights and lore with one another as we would over a feast. I'm not sure why regional terminology needs to be debated in such a forum, but I am quite sure that there is no need to ruin the meal by finding fault with one another's geographical, gustatory, religious or dietetic inclinations. A chowhound is a terrible thing to waste.

                      1. re: Samo

                        Thanks for expressing that much more eloquently than I did, Samo. i completely agree with every word.


                      2. re: Carolyn Tillie

                        I'm with berkelybabe and samo on this one -- Carolyn please come back! Your posts are great.

                        That said, I have to add that I like the pedantry and exactingness of the discussions on this board -- maybe because I know so little myself, and I get to learn about, say, summer truffles (btw: Carolyn, I've been meaning to ask, are they a certain kind of truffle, or is summer simply truffle season?) -- and I don't think people should be afraid to correct each other. All the more so because the occasional contentious remark keeps things lively.

                        Hey, I'll never forget being flamed for one of my first recs -- for Temple restaurant on La Cinega. The SF hound who went there after reading my post was not shy about voicing his disappointment. But that's part of the game, right? It's true that this is a food site not a geography site-- but if we're going to split hairs about regions in Thailand, why not allow ourselves to distinguish between Long Beach and Santa MOnica...

                        In sum: put on that sunscreen mr grub suggested, but jump back into the water.

                        ps I see you're into recipes -- have you checked out the gen topics board? Recipes all over it...

                        1. re: Rafi

                          Rafi...differences of opinion over the colloquial geographic placement of a given Southern California "city" (hard to tell where one strip mall blends into another..sorry, but this is one of the ugliest urban areas in the world, planning and architecture wise) are fine.

                          In this case, however, FredF (Flintstone?) wasn't just throwing in his 2 cents over the Long Beach issue, he was mean and insulting. Probably doesn't care much for women, from reading between the lines. That sort of behavior drives giving and open people away from websites, as it has done in this case.

                          Everyone, excpet possibly fred, is poorer for it.

                          1. re: stephen

                            Just re-read Fred's post. I agree.

                            (But as to the ugliness of so-cal strip malls, and Fred's psychological make-up, I have no comment.)

                            1. re: Rafi

                              I agree with you, Rafi. As an "expatriate Angeleno" now living in Long Beach, I understand that to most of LA, Long Beach is like falling off the end of the earth, to where the dragons be, as they wrote in those old medieval, flat land maps. It's an easy misunderstanding.

                        2. re: Carolyn Tillie

                          Ditto what everyone else said. Carolyn, come back! Nothing and no one here is gospel. There are some nitpickers and bitter pills hanging around, but I like to think of them as, ahem, "overly discerning." It's par for the course with critical people.

                          And while I'm at it, special thanks to all the LA regulars for keeping this particular board fascinating, friendly and my "must visit" site each day.

                2. re: Carolyn Tillie

                  Thanks for the help. No problems with the area, I go to the South Bay area alot anyways. As far as the receipies, I don't cook, but hopefully I can find a place that I can get that lemon cake. :-)

                  1. re: Carolyn Tillie

                    Thank you, Carolyn, for the Bonjour French Pastry recommendation. I already know and love Babette's Feast!

                    Just 2 hours 'til lunch!

                  2. The Brown Derby, when it was still in existence on Wilshire Blvd. and on Vine St., was known for its grapefruit cake. Could that have been the cake you had? I think the recipe is in the LA Times cookbook, or maybe someone on the general topics board will share it with you.

                    And just to pick up the thread from a few messages below, Long Beach is certainly not the westside nor is it the south bay. It is a separate city, part of LA County and the general "Los Angeles" area, and really not a bad drive from most parts of the rest of LA (granted, it's easier if you avoid rush hour), and a nice change for dinner and stroll, especially in the summer.

                    1. I'm guessing that it was a Mrs. Grace's lemon cake which you can order online or by phone or in person at their bakery in Beverly Hills. I think it's now Mrs. Grace/Mrs. Beasley.
                      Good gift baskets too. Not the greatest general bakery on earth, but the lemon cake which made them is pretty hard to beat.