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Most Original or Unusual Desserts in LA - Where?

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I'm doing an article for a class on the most unusual or original desserts in the Los Angeles area, but it's been a while since I've been around. I'm trying to stay away from the trendiest places in town. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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  1. Garlic ice cream is pretty weird. Available at The Stinking Rose on Beverly Hills. I've not tried it, but have been there for their garlic dishes...food's okay...place is very eclectic.

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    Stinking Rose
    55 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

    1. Check out Exotic Cakes
      http://www.exoticcakes.com/

      1. I'd head to "Asia." Among desserts from Asia are lots of icy desserts to cool off folks on those hot sweltering days. Off the top of my head, ice kachang, cendol, kueh lapis (Malaysian/Singaporean); coconut milk ice cream, mango or durian w/ sweet sticky rice (Thai), snow ice (finely shaved ice often infused with milk) often topped with things like mango, almond tofu, rice balls, grass jelly and condensed milk (Taiwan), bing su (Korean), and mochi, manju, yokan, kanten (Japan).

        Don't even get Asian dessert places and bakeries started on maccha (green tea) desserts. Cakes, puddings, cookies, ice creams, etc., etc., as well as kintoki (sweetened red bean) ________ fill-in-the-blank. The coup de grace is combining the two with some decadent custard and/or sweetened mochi. Pandan is an essence that not many outside of Southeast Asian cuisine have heard about. A very heady herbal/nutty/vanilla-like essence that is used mostly in pastries and cakes, but some savory dishes as well.

        The Japanese are reputed to have some very "unique" ice cream flavors that might send you into some bad dreams:

        http://www.who-sucks.com/food/101-fri...

        Speaking of ice cream flavors that you won't find at the local Baskin & Robbins 31 list, try Scoops on Heliotrope. I've never been but I believe the owner (Tai?) was told as a child that he would change the ice cream world, one scoop at a time. Embracing these prophetic words, he has created some of the most inventive flavors that often push the ice cream flavor envelope. Vegan carrot cardamom pistachio? Chocolate wasabi? Fig/brie cheese? Calpis/green tea? This guy's got a serious mad scientist gene combined with a Picasso-like palette for previously unexplored flavor combinations...

        Places to try:

        Scoops (ice cream
        )JJ Bakery (Taiwanese bakery)
        Patisserie Chantilly (French-inspired Japanese patisserie)
        85C (Taiwanese tea/desserts/snacks)
        Class 302 (Taiwanese desserts/snacks)
        Simbala (Taiwanese dishes, snacks, desserts)
        Shau May (Taiwanese meals, snacks, desserts)
        Ice Kiss (Korean desserts, coffee, tea, ice cream)
        Mitsuwa (Torrance location - Japanese desserts, specialty dessert counters)
        Belacan Grill (Malaysian cuisine, ice kachang, cendol)
        99 Ranch (Chinese supermarket - broad range of foods including snacks, desserts, baked items)
        Van's Bakery (Vietnamese bakery - good pandan-_______; cakes, breads)
        Phoenix Food Boutique (Chinese/Cantonese snacks, noodles, desserts)

        I don't think any of these places fall under the "Trendy" category for most. Aside from the Japanese options, you might be shocked at the QPR (Quality/Price Ratio). Your $$ go pretty far at many of these places... Enjoy :)

        5 Replies
        1. re: bulavinaka

          My latest 3 pints I bought from Tai (AKA The One who would reinvent ice cream) at Scoops:

          Fig + Cashew(?)
          Green Tea + Almond
          Very Blue Blueberry

          Yum.

          1. re: bulavinaka

            This Belacan Grill concoction is now on my to-try list:

            http://manbitesworld.com/Gallery/10//...

            1. re: bulavinaka

              What a great list... Thanks... There goes my waistline.

              1. re: bulavinaka

                I really like the strawberry mochi thing they have at the JJ Bakery in Torrance. It's basically a small flat square of sponge cake. On top of that they put a bunch of fresh strawberries. It's more or less encased in a sphere of whipped cream. And then the whole thing is wrapped with a thin sheet of mochi to form a huge ball. The whole thing is about the size of a softball. They have a mango version, too.

                1. re: huaqiao

                  Those alone are worth making a trip to any of the JJ bakeries around SoCal. If I recall correctly, they also have a maccha version as well... Poster nomofan and his wife loved these treats so much, they handed them out at their wedding reception - I believe 300+ if my memories serves me correctly...

              2. Check out Guppy Teahouse in Cerritos, CA.
                http://www.myguppyteahouse.com/

                1. mashti malone's on la brea north of sunset has some interesting ice creams (rosewater and the noodles - i forget what they're called) as well as a host of other interesting ethnic treats.

                  there's a new place i've yet to frequent on santa monica blvd in bev hills called Fulfilled, that advertises japanese pastries... not sure exactly what that will entail... i'll have to check it out more closely when i run by tomorrow morn.

                  nata's pastries in sherman oaks has some tasty and unusual desserts, the nata as well as others.

                  avoiding the trendier places will leave you out of the junk food platter at SimonLA, as well as the blackberry cobbler at Cynthia's (those this isn't particularly trendy anymore).

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Emme

                    Are "..the noodles..." called Falooda?

                    1. re: sel

                      Faloudeh. It's a Persian dessert.

                  2. Lamill Coffee and XIV both have some very unusual creations with touches of savory flavors like mozzarella ice cream.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Chowpatty

                      That mozzerella ice milk was disgusting.

                    2. If they are still doing it, the "junk food" dessert platter at Simon LA and what about the olive oil gelato at Mozza?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Servorg

                        Yes, I had the junk food platter a few weeks ago, it's great, but huge. The olive oil ice cream is amazing.

                      2. Butterscotch Budino at Mozza

                        1. I first tried it thirty years ago, so it certainly is not new or cutting edge, but is anyone doing a really good fried ice cream these days? When executed well (and served very promptly) the combination of hot and cold, crispy and rich creamy is still one of my most memorable and favorite desserts.

                          1. What about the honey toast at Tokyo Table?

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                            Tokyo Table - Tokyo City Cuisine
                            50 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA

                            1. hey thanks so much for the leads! if i come up with anything fantastic i'll post more! xoxox

                              1. The Foundation Room at the House of Blues on Sunset has a Chevre cheesecake, with rosemary phyllo, black pepper cherry sorbet, and fresh rosemary. It's amazing.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: schrutefarms

                                  We had dessert recently at both Mozza Pizzeria and Craft.
                                  The olive oil gelato at craft was okay, but oily. Nothing to write home about. The salted caramel gelato at craft was very good, their sorbet trio--the persimmon was tasteless, the cranberry was good the apple, okay. For my money it was all about MOZZA pizzeria's desserts.
                                  The budino was amazing, absolutely wonderful and their chocolate sorbet with cocoa nibs and the coconut sorbet were too die for. The pear sorbet was really nice too.

                                  1. re: compucook

                                    I dare to say the Budino is the best dessert in the city.

                                2. You must check out these artisan mochi truffles creations at http://moonpillows.com/
                                  They are delicious!

                                  1. I think the dessert bun Take a s’More--chocolate, marshmallow & graham
                                    cracker in a sweet bun--from Take a Bao is quite unusual.