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Bakery for Lemon dessert - Westside

  • g

We're giving a co-worker a birthday party, and she's a lemon lover. What's a good suggestion for a wonderful lemon dessert from a bakery? It needs to be on the west side. We'll pick it up in the morning for an afternoon party at the office.

Her party is next week.

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  1. This might be less upscale than what you were looking for, but Trader Joe's has a Lemon Tarte in their bakery section that has good, flaky pastry and a tart, lemony filling that is surprisingly good. The lemon is jammy rather than creamy. It is on the racks, not chilled or frozen, and can be found usually after the breads as you come in and before you get to the cold cases. A fullsize one that can easily serve 6 or 8 goes for either $5.99 or $6.99. If you have a freezer you can supplement with some of their sorbet, or get one of their frozen items that can thaw in the fridge before serving.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nosh

      That lemon tart may be familiar to some as I hear it comes from the commercial bakery of Sweet Lady Jane... Hate their attitude, love their lemons...

    2. Euro Pane in Pasadena serves a pretty good lemon bar. I'm not sure, but you may be able to order an platter of lemon bars if you call them and order in advance.

      Euro Pane Bakery
      950 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106

      1 Reply
      1. re: wildcard000

        And a wonderful (2nd best in USA) Lemon Tart!!! I also love the Lemon Meringue Tart at sweet lady janes, yea I know - blah blah blah, overpriced but damn good!!!

      2. i can't remember the name of the cake, and it must be pre-ordered, but coco's makes a terrific cake: it is layered, and in between the cake layers are layers of lemon curd. it is NOT a frosted nor iced cake. the folks at any coco's, i'm sure, will know the name of the cake.

        1. I like the appearance of the lemon meringue tartlets at Bread Bar, although I have yet to try them. However, since I have seen them, I have not stopped thinking about them! The meringue is just perfectly baked.

          I suspect there is a 'Hound lurking somewhere nearby that can tell us how they taste. I like everything I have tried at Bread Bar, including some fruit bread that was seasonal, so I can only guess that these lemon tarts are delicious!

          2 Replies
          1. re: liu

            They taste about as good as they look.

            1. re: glutton

              This is good to know, glutton; I wasn't expecting to be disappointed at Bread Bar!

          2. Jamaica's Cakes on the westside has WONDERFUL lemon bars and other yummy desserts. The owners are very nice as well. Check it out:

            11511 W. Pico Blvd.

            1. Best I've had, the Lavender Lemon Squares at Surfas on the westside....

              2 Replies
              1. re: Adsvino

                I wholeheartedly second this rec. I LOVE those lavender lemon bars. You'd probably need to call a day or two ahead to pre-order a bulk amount, but I don't see why they couldn't do it.

                1. re: Adsvino

                  Those ARE kind of incredible, aren't they?

                2. Are you looking for something really screaming of lemons like a lemon bar or tart, or something more balanced like a cake with lemon filling?

                  If you're looking for a cake with lemon filing, Angel Maid in Mar Vista is good, light, and reasonably priced. They can work with you on any garnishes or decorations as well.

                  If your co-worker is a gnawing-on-lemons kind of person, then you could order a whole sheet of lemon bars from one of many bakeries. Jamaica's Cakes and Butter Cake do a good balancing act between sweet and tart. Again, these folks as well will be happy to work with you on getting the right amount of lemon in your order, and I personally would think that a lemon buttercream cake would be fantastic as well from either place.

                  Sweet Lady Jane has the best lemon meringue tartlet that I've personally tried but they're definitely not Westside, many have an issue with the service, and a three-inch tartlet runs around $8.

                  A less-expensive version with no meringue can be had at Trader Joe's - the one that Nosh mentions. I think it's nine inches, very good, and the trick is to pick one up on the day that they stock it as it has powdered sugar on it (or just repowder it). They do keep for at least a few days. I usually slice it, dress it with some macerated berries, and top it off with some kind of cream (creme fraiche, whipped cream with lemon zest folded in, even the TJ's cheese-style yogurt for an extra kick of tartness). I could easily see you picking up one of these tarts along with a couple of types of berries. Bring along a colander (to rinse the berries) and a plastic container with some sugar in it to macerate the berries for 15 minutes to an hour (Grande Marnier or triple sec is a nice addition as well). Some kind of topping - maybe canned whipped cream for convenience - could cover the top of the tart, and pour the macerated berries on top. If you really want to get fancy, bring a lemon and a zester and zest the top of the berries. Plant the obligatory candle on top and you're good to go...

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: bulavinaka

                    Thank you for jogging my memory, b. I pick up a bag of TJ's frozen assorted berries (a big bag for about $3) and defrost and serve them along with that lemon tart -- adds some sweetness and moistness to the crisp, tart, jammy base. And if you are accurate about their source, you can say that SLJ made them and your guests will think you paid five times as much.

                    1. re: nosh

                      I'm 100% positive about the source - at least through last year, and it seems like the same product to me...

                      1. re: bulavinaka

                        Okay...perhaps a longshot. I was in Caprice French Pastries on Pico (a couple of blocks west of Centinela and picked up some sort of lemon tarte. It turns out they only make it once in a while and I was lucky enough to pick a day they made some. Delicate, but very tasty lemon flavor. The people I picked it up for really loved it. The niece of the man I bought it for is taking professional cooking classes and she was fascinated by the way a design was burnished on the top. The niece is pretty good with confections and pastries so she is pretty knowledgeable and she was impressed. You might try to call Caprice to find out if they will make you one. http://capricefrenchpastries.com

                        1. re: Feed_me

                          I think Caprice is a great rec and I totally forgot about them. They mostly do catering, so what you were lucky enough to pick up was probably an overrun which in Caprice's case is always a great thing. Jean-Louise hasn't been there the past couple of times that we've visited, but his staff is very helpful - just not nearly as devilish or comedic - and I'm sure they could cover this one no problem. I just don't know what they would charge...

                  2. The lemon bars at the Surfa's Cafe are outstanding. they've got a touch of lavender, which really makes them work that much better.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: glutton

                      I like them too. I mentioned those on a thread last year, and the response by someone was something to the effect of those reminding them of soap. I guess one will either appreciate them or hate them...

                      1. re: bulavinaka

                        That coulda been me, they remind me of my ex's Laura Ashley (PU) soap!

                        1. re: sel

                          It was you! It was! Arghhhh... :)