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Where to get the best FLAN in LA?

waxfondler May 20, 2008 10:50 PM

I really like the Flan at the Hollywood Farmers Market on Sunday. Where do you guys go for your Flan cravings? The almond flan at Gelsons deli is pretty good too.

  1. Das Ubergeek Feb 6, 2013 11:05 PM

    Since this has been reopened, I would like to submit the flan at Mercado. It's unbelievably rich, yet it's not overwhelming.

    1. j
      jzalvidea Jan 12, 2013 10:01 PM

      If you prefer a very dense flan made with 2-3X the amount of eggs, may I suggest the Filipino version found at any of the bakeries on Carson St. & Main in Carson.

      1. s
        SusieBee Sep 12, 2012 07:00 PM

        Maybe I am way off, but I LOVE Pollo Loco flan. Best I have ever had. Thick, so rich, flavorful and sweet and creamy. But I love their chicken also. Anyone else tried their flan?

        1. Kris P Pata Mar 22, 2012 11:56 PM

          Apart from my aunt's version (Unfortunately, regular trips to visit her in San Sebastian aren't pragmatic nor affordable) , my favorite flan comes from the good folks at Creme Caramel LA. Taste, texture, proper density -- their flan has it all. The original is the standard but, if available, the ube with macapuno is so, so worth it. Heck, they even deliver to your door on holidays although I won't wait that long.for a fix.


          1. j
            Jerome Mar 22, 2012 02:11 AM

            la Paella - cream catalana was great last time i i had it.

            porto's in glendale and burbank, very good.

            also el morfi, (argentine pizzeria in glendale) has nice flan. to my taste.

            1. t
              tissue Mar 21, 2012 08:01 PM


              1. t
                trvlcrzy Mar 20, 2012 10:36 PM

                Bazaar or at home..same texture, same flavor.

                1. h
                  happybaker Mar 15, 2012 03:41 PM

                  To my surprise, I had an amazing flan at Lola's Peruvian in Glendale. Really rich and dense, not too sweet - lovely.

                  1. f
                    Feed_me Mar 15, 2012 02:30 PM

                    I like the flan made by Claudia at Sazon at the corner of Washington/Centinela. There was a similar enquiry a while back and I recall Dommy mentioning it as being good. Normally I don't eat flan, but I do like Sazon's version. I've found Dommy and Matt P have very good taste, so I feel pretty confident it's one of the better versions around. http://sazonlatinfusion.com/Menu.html

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: Feed_me
                      Dommy Mar 15, 2012 02:49 PM

                      Glad you liked it! :) To me the flan at Sazon is perfect. Not too Jelloy. Not too Eggy. Great balance of richness and caramel taste. It's also nice and firm with very little air bubbles so it's quite satisfying


                      1. re: Dommy
                        Servorg Mar 15, 2012 03:21 PM

                        Dommy, how is their mofongo (if you've had it)?

                        1. re: Servorg
                          Dommy Mar 15, 2012 03:54 PM

                          I've had it and it's good, just a little under seasoned. Claudia has a light hand on salt and other spices (She wants to keep things healthy), so if you have the itch, it will scratch it. But it won't take you back home... I much perfer her soups (You can often see her at Mar Vista Farmers Market), empandas and Calabacitas dish (one of the best veggie plates around) . Also, she has great specials too.


                          1. re: Dommy
                            Servorg Mar 15, 2012 03:57 PM

                            I've been tempted to try the Pescado Tropical with the coconut breading on spinach mashed potatoes with the green sauce, crema and fresh mango salsa.

                            1. re: Servorg
                              Dommy Mar 15, 2012 04:06 PM

                              I like the dish. The fish is well cooked, but the spinach mashed potatoes are the weakest link. Again, light on the salt and missing the creamy component... But if course, Tender Greens and their butter bomb mashed taters has spoiled me for life...


                              1. re: Dommy
                                Feed_me Mar 17, 2012 04:49 PM

                                Dommy is right (is she ever wrong?). Claudia does (to me) tends go really easy on the salt, but she emphasizes that she tries to keep everything healthy.

                          2. re: Servorg
                            Jase Mar 20, 2012 08:34 PM

                            Have you had the mofongo from El Camaguey Market now that they have the takeout food again? I really like it. Garlicky, porky, very hearty and satisfying.

                            1. re: Jase
                              Servorg Mar 21, 2012 05:13 AM

                              I didn't know that they were doing takeout food. What else have you tried? Thanks for the tip, Jase.

                              1. re: Servorg
                                Jase Mar 22, 2012 09:06 PM

                                Yeah, they started up the take out again last year. Then streetgourmetla wrote about it in LA Times so I stayed away for a while to avoid the crowds. I've had the oxtail, the pork chops with grilled onions, the tostones, and the ropa vieja. Oh the fried chicken and beef stew too.

                                The prices are portions are ridiculous. $8-11 according to the menu I have. The plates all come with fried plantains, rice and beans. I've also gotten a small side salad included a couple of times but I wouldn't count on it. I haven't been there since last year though. Hopefully nothing has changed. I might have to pop in soon now that this has reminded me.

                                But all the food was really good, hearty and rich. I really liked their oxtail and mofongo. Those are the two I've gotten without fail with every visit. Be warned that unless you call ahead, expect to wait. A lot of the dishes she'll make fresh. I watched her pound the mofongo. It's so good with the crunchy pork bits.

                                Curious what you think.

                        2. re: Feed_me
                          Jase Mar 20, 2012 08:32 PM

                          Yeah, the flan there is pretty darn good.

                        3. a
                          attran99 Nov 2, 2010 01:05 PM

                          I'd like to add the flan from The Bazaar by Jose Andres to the list. It's his grandmother's recipe, and is the best flan I've ever had. Not to dense, not too airy, just the right amount of caramel/dulce de leche....just absolutely perfect...except, I wanted more after I'd finished the one I ordered.

                          1. LATrapp Nov 1, 2010 10:36 PM

                            Bossa Nova in WeHo has a good coconut flan (Pudim de coco). Firm and rich, it's sold by the slice. Toasted coconut on top that I believe is unsweetened, and sweet velvety flan below. Served with slightly burnt sugar syrup.

                            1. c
                              coco puff May 30, 2008 02:12 PM

                              go to THEARTOFFLAN.COM....by far, the best!!!! website only!

                              1. Kate is always hungry May 29, 2008 10:42 PM

                                I always loved the flan at El Criollo, the Cuban restaurant in Van Nuys. When I went with a friend a while back, she confirmed my suspicions when she exclaimed, "this is the best flan I've ever had!"

                                1. w
                                  waxfondler May 22, 2008 10:32 PM

                                  Thanks guys! Ok so I realized that the kind of Flan im into is the more dense,rich cheesecake like Flan, I dont like the airy light flan thats drenched in syrup only. I gotta try La Casita and compare. Also Vallarta since I live right down the street from one.

                                  1. r
                                    revets2 May 21, 2008 11:51 PM

                                    BORDER GRILL has phenomenal flan. they condense their own milk. flavors vary.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: revets2
                                      sweetTooth Nov 2, 2010 02:34 PM

                                      Hearty second for Border Grill's flan. If they have two in the desserts case - ask for the one that looks darker. Very addictive!

                                      Border Grill
                                      1445 4th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401

                                    2. Das Ubergeek May 21, 2008 07:05 PM

                                      OH, and I forgot -- if you're a fan of the dense rich kind (not the airy gelatin-y kind) try the leche quemada (maybe it's called leche asada?) at Las Quenas in North Hollywood.

                                      1. j
                                        jaykayen May 21, 2008 06:51 PM

                                        Border Grill, Santa Monica. It's of the dense variety.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: jaykayen
                                          Eat_Nopal May 21, 2008 07:57 PM

                                          That is typically called Flan Napolitano... the light variety is often known as Flan Espanol

                                        2. Eat_Nopal May 21, 2008 03:53 PM

                                          You can find outsanding Flan Napolitano about $12 for a large flan... at the Fruteria in Lincoln Heights corner of Broadway & Workman... they also have solid Sherry Gelatine... good hand churned Sorbets & Ice Cream... as well as the best fruit salads in the City.

                                          1. s
                                            sel May 21, 2008 03:38 PM

                                            I bought several flans from the guy at the Hollywood Farmer's Market last Sunday and they were some of the best that I have ever had. Not as special but more available are the flans at Vallarta Markets. Try a small and report back! A large one is $9.95. Oh yea, they have two kinds. One is a regular flan and the other is a Flan Napolitano which is denser. Both good, depends on which type you prefer.


                                            1. k
                                              KaceyLaine May 21, 2008 02:56 PM

                                              This is really embarrassing to admit..... but, I LOVE the flan from El Pollo Loco. It's definitely a guilty pleasure of mine :-)

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: KaceyLaine
                                                silverlakebodhisattva May 21, 2008 03:03 PM

                                                There seems to be a division of opinion as to "dense" flan vs. "airy" flan. I've always liked Versailles' (the Venice location).

                                                BTW, even though it's pre-made, I gotta admit, KL, that Pollo Loco flan's still pretty good...

                                                1. re: KaceyLaine
                                                  BearCity Sep 13, 2012 12:30 PM

                                                  I have to agree. I just recently tried the flan at EPL, and my next flan from a sit-down Mexican restaurant didn't measure up. It's more delicious than one would expect.

                                                2. c
                                                  cjla May 21, 2008 11:39 AM

                                                  I had some tasty, tasty flan at Canele, in Atwater Village.

                                                  3219 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039

                                                  1. d
                                                    Diana May 21, 2008 11:18 AM

                                                    I think those same FM Flan guys are at the Sunday Encino Market, or is it Studio City? I tried some, it's good.

                                                    1. r
                                                      Renault78law May 21, 2008 10:51 AM

                                                      I like the flan at Monte Alban.

                                                      1. Mr Taster May 21, 2008 10:41 AM

                                                        La Casita Mexicana in Bell conjures up an otherworldly flan.... outrageously dense and velvety smooth on the tongue. It doesn't have that springy Jell-O consistency as many inferior flans do... it's just dense, smooth, creamy and wonderful.

                                                        As a bonus, they top it with rompope or kahlua (or both, if you wish). It was $4.00, but because it was our first visit they comped us!

                                                        Well worth the trip to Bell for the flan alone. Seriously.

                                                        Mr Taster

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: Mr Taster
                                                          Mel Gee May 21, 2008 12:57 PM

                                                          Will wonders never cease. I'm a regular at La Casita and have never had dessert, probably because the chips w/mole, excellent soup, and two delicious chiles en nogada that I generally order are more than enough. I'll save room for the flan next time -- thanks for the information. Also, thanks to Ubergeek for the Serenata alert. I usually go to the Boyle Heights location, but I'll try the flan in SM sometime.

                                                          1. re: Mel Gee
                                                            Mr Taster May 21, 2008 01:31 PM

                                                            If you would report back here once you've tried the flan, I'd be very curious to hear your impression of it!

                                                            Mr Taster

                                                        2. gado_gado May 21, 2008 08:26 AM

                                                          I tend to go to Porto's Bakery, in Glendale. Firm (I personally don't like those watery, too airy ones). And a whole flan for under $9. I don't think you can go wrong with that.

                                                          It actually reminds me a lot of the Brazilian pudim my mom used to make.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: gado_gado
                                                            compucook May 21, 2008 10:10 AM

                                                            Ditto on Porto's! We were at a Cuban birthday party and they eschewed what the catering restaurant had in favor of bringing in Flan from Porto's. It was amazing!

                                                            1. re: compucook
                                                              Mr Taster May 21, 2008 11:06 AM

                                                              My boss is heading to Porto's to pick up a birthday cake for our supervisor, and thanks to the advice of gado_gado and compucook, I've given him an extra $5 to pick up a small flan for me as well :)

                                                              Mr Taster

                                                              1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                Mr Taster May 21, 2008 04:50 PM

                                                                Just had the Porto's flan.... very yummy, but definitely not in the same league as the one at La Casita Mexicana

                                                                Mr Taster

                                                                La Casita Mexicana
                                                                4030 Gage Ave, Bell, CA 90201

                                                          2. Das Ubergeek May 21, 2008 05:23 AM

                                                            La Serenata Gourmet in West LA. The meals are "just OK" and are trumped easily by the mother ship in Boyle Heights, but for some reason the Pico branch has the very best flans... and they're simply not sold at the mother ship nor at the 4th St. SM branch.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                              JAB May 21, 2008 04:47 PM

                                                              I have to disagree with them not being available at the mother ship. I had a memorable coconut flan there once. It's not been available any other time that I've gone. I did try a chocolate flan there another time but, was very disappointed.

                                                            2. m
                                                              Mel Gee May 20, 2008 11:06 PM

                                                              I hope you get some good responses, because I could use a decent flan. My Cuban office manager in Miami used to make the most incredible firm but tender and creamy flan, flavored with Kahlua, for example. She would bring one in whenever we had to con some part of the bureaucracy into behaving like human beans. Worked every time!

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Mel Gee
                                                                anita3526 Mar 23, 2012 01:22 PM

                                                                Just heard Fratelli Cafe on Melrose (near La Brea) has added a delicious flan to their amazing dessert collection. I think I'm going to have dessert for lunch today. :)

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