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Restaurants with the best cheese and dessert selection

  • t

I am planning on going to the Babyface concert at the Nokia Live with my wife on Valentine's day. The concert should end around 10:30 or 11:00.

I was wondering if there were any restaurants with an excellent selection of cheeses and desserts that would be open during this time?

Besides this particular day which restaurants have the best cheese and dessert selections overall? LA or OC. Doesn't have to be a fancy, hip, or an expensive place. Let me hear your opinions.

I have heard great things about Providence. XIV? Bazaar? Others?

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  1. I vote OSTERIA MOZZA or CRAFT. Love their desserts.

    1. The cheese cart at Providence is staggering. Ortolan offers just slightly less, but is still very impressive.

      1. i thought patina had a great selection on cheese and their desert were good too. not sure if they are open at 11pm?

        6 Replies
        1. re: rickym13

          Vinosnob, rickym13, and bruinike thank you so much for the recommendations.

          I have heard fantastic things about Providences cheese cart. I am sure Patina has an excellent one as well. I didn't think about Craft either. Excellent choices. Thank you!

          1. re: Tony

            Loved the cheese plate at Craft. Not just cheese, but nuts, dried fruit and toast. Very creative, nicely plated and delicious. I'm a big dessert eater and Craft has wonderful desserts, but I think I'm now a convert to their cheese plate.

            1. re: omotosando

              I love cheese plates that add some kind of fruit, nut, or honey to the plate. I'll definately have to check out Craft and their cheese plate one of these days. Don't know if it will still be open that late though.

              1. re: Tony

                The Hungry Cat has a great cheese plate, with walnuts drenched in honey. I stole that from them, so whenever I have guests over, I put that on my cheese plate.

            2. re: Tony

              The pastry chef at CRAFT was just nominated for a James Beard Award so another reason to keep it mind even if it doesn't work out this time around.

              1. re: bruinike

                Hey bruinike,

                Wow! Good news for CRAFT that the pastry chef there got nominated. Thanks for the great info.

          2. Tony, I called Craft -- If you wanted to come in just for dessert and cheese, they would seat you in the lounge and you could come in as late as 11 or possibly even a bit later, tonight or on a Saturday. Give them a call, hope you have a great V-day, and hope this helps.

            3 Replies
            1. re: nosh

              Just to note - I love eating in the Craft lounge. Big tables, comfortable chairs. It's very civilized unlike the typical cramped lounge. Not being a person who likes to plan, I often pop into the Craft lounge without reservations and have dinner there.

              1. re: omotosando

                Nosh - Thank you so much for your help. It is really really appreciated. You went above and beyond the norm. I hope the concert gets out before 11:00.

                omotosando - Thanks for the tip on CRAFT. Good to know.

                1. re: Tony

                  The other tip for Craft is no, you don't have to give your car to the valet. Just go into the garage yourself and have your ticket validated and park for free. It is really easy to find a space at night. Some people think it is ridiculous to worry about the price of valet parking when you are going to an upscale restaurant, but I'm not one of them.

            2. Tony, my pleasure. Always willing to help a fellow 'hound and live music lover. Be sure to program Craft's number into your phone -- Lawrence, who gave me the info, indicated that cheese and dessert would be possible past 11, possibly as late as 11:30. Sort of a dilemma -- if it is a good concert, you certainly won't want to be hoping "c'mon and finish up."

              1 Reply
              1. re: nosh

                Update: Concert got out at 11:45 p.m., so we didn't end up going. Bummer! Next time though.

                Omotosando - Thanks for the additional tip. I am completely with you on the free parking. I don't usually valet either when there is self park available. I can save that money and get something else to eat!!

                Nosh - The concert was good and did last until 11:45. Thanks again for going the extra mile in trying to helping me out. I will definitely put it on the top of my places to eat list.

                Here is my blog that my wife and I dabble with in case you would like to check it out.


              2. By far, the best cheese selection I have had at any restaurant (anywhere in the country) is The Loft Restaurant at the Montage Laguna Beach Resort. They have an area in the dining room dedicated to cheese and carry over 100 cheeses over 25 different accompaniments every night. If you are a cheese lover you HAVE to check out The Loft!!!