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Hunting down that outrageous carrot cake!

For three years I have been going to both Alcove (Los Feliz) and Aroma (Studio City) at least once a week. One of the biggest draws for me has been the carrot cake. It's two layers of the most loaded, moist cake (lots of actual sweet carrot, raisins, chopped walnuts and spices), with a very generous layer of sweet cream cheese frosting on top and between the two layers. It was (next to mom's) the most perfect carrot cake I have ever had.

But at Alcove it is no more. They have switched bakers!! And while they say that their customers prefer the new version, I find the cake void of raisins (which made it so sweet and moist) and sadly lacking in carrot. The frosting is very obviously made with a salted butter; the saltiness being obvious on first bite.

Happily; though it's a bit of a drive because I live in Los Feliz, I can still get the original carrot cake at Aroma - who actually carries three different kinds of carrot cake (bundt, the original 2-layer and the new 3-layer). Though there is a link between these two cafes, they each maintain their own set of vendors.

But here are my 2 big questions:

1. Who makes that outrageous 2-layer carrot cake, still sold at Aroma?

2. Which do you prefer? (The original 2-layer, or the new 3-layer)

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  1. I really like the carrot cake at The Cheesecake Factory. I've never tried the cake at Aroma but now im gonna have to. Liz have you had the carrot cake at Cheesecake Factory? If so how does it compare?

    7 Replies
    1. re: waxfondler

      My mom is a carrot cake goon, and oddly enough, CF is one of her absolute favorites. I'll have to ask her if she has any other faves.

      And if you're in a pinch near TJ's, they do a pretty good frozen version.

      1. re: Emme

        LOL! Please do ask her -- I'm a carrot cake "goon" myself.

        1. re: Emme

          TJ's USED to have a great frozen carrot cake. They changed it last year and is now nowhere near as good, though it looks fancier.

        2. re: waxfondler

          I haven't ... and I have heard Claim Jumper is good. I was kinda turned off by Cheesecake Factory. Their restaurants are not as well bussed or cleaned as they should be. Late at night they leave tables unbussed and they seldomn clean under the tables before they seat new people. Just poor management. It's a shame because I do like most of their food. I'm fussy about clean restuarants.

          1. re: LizGraphix

            Get it to go... but beware, if you don't like whipped cream on your cream cheese frosted carrot cake, be sure to make a special request to hold it.

            1. re: LizGraphix

              Claim Jumper is one of the best I've ever had. It's a one layer cake loaded with walnuts, raisins, pineapple and coconut. Nice thick cream cheese frosting. Actually better chilled. Yum.

            2. re: waxfondler

              My wife says the best carrot cake is at Shakers in Glendale. If you do a search, you will see that others agree. Since I am on a diet, I cannot vouch for others....

            3. I don't know if it's just me or my bad luck...but almost every dessert I've tried at Alcove has been a disappointment -- either because it's dried out or just not super-delicious. In all fairness, I have not tried their (past or present) carrot cake. I agree with Emme in that TJ's frozen carrot cake is perfect for when you need a quick fix. A friend of mine raves about CostCo's carrot cake, but I found it to be too sweet and lacking in essential-chewy-chunkiness from nuts and raisins. If you bake, check out this recipe from Epicurious.com.

              http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/23796073/

              1. I like the one from Porto's Bakery, and this coming from someone whose not crazy on carrot cake.

                1. I second the vote for Portos.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: terim

                    Thirded. Porto's carrot cake is great.

                  2. I've never had it, but I've heard the carrot cake at "Stonefire Grill" is one of the few things worth ordering there. I wish I had known that the one time I'd gone there, cause I got a chicken dish that was greasy and disgusting. But hey, maybe just go for the cake?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ReelMike84

                      I have had the carrot cake at Stonefire Grill and it certainly ranks up there among the best. Really moist but chunky and a good cream cheese frosting to cake ratio. That being said I also like almost everything else there especially the tri tip and the salads.