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Fools at Diddy Riese Cookies in Westwood

Saturday afternoon at 2pm I counted between 80 and 90 people in line at Diddy Riese Cookies in Westwood. I like those cookies, but they aren't worth a half hour wait in my opinion. Not when La Galleta is just a block away (on Gayley next to In & Out Burger).

La Galleta has empanadas, sandwiches, bread pudding and ice cream...on Saturday they had peanut butter cookies, oatmeal chocolate chip and cinnamon sugar cookies on display. But the real find here is the iced lemon cookies, and the chewy coconut cookies. And the new almond cookies are even better than their two signature cookies in my opinion. I should have gotten more of these. This is my 2nd visit to La Galletta since they opened last year and they've improved and gotten even better.

All cookies are 3 for a buck and one of the best bakery bargains in town considering the taste, freshness and quality. The clerk told me that they don't get a ton of walk-in business because of their hidden location, but that offices in the area have discovered them and that they do a lot of orders for 2-3 dozen cookies for area businesses.

Walk past all the fools in line at Diddy Riese and give La Galleta a try. Nice little mom and pop business. My co-workers this morning are in heaven, raving about these cookies (especially the almond cookies) even though they are almost two days old by now. Call ahead if you want a dozen or more, they'll cook 'em up fresh for you to pick up in a half hour.

La Galleta 964 Gayley Avenue Westwood near UCLA (310) 824-1212

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  1. Cash only, so beware.

    I went there a while ago, everything looked and smelled great, but the dude told that they didn't have a CC machine yet. He comped me a coconut cookie and told him to pay him back later when I had cash.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      They've been taking credit cards for a while now, I guess they got tired of comping cookies to the likes of ipsedixit.

      1. re: jackattack

        LOL . . . ipsedixit . . . XD . . . it seems like they have sandwiches and better prices too.

    2. What a great tip. I will make it over there today without a doubt.

      1. I feel like this is part two of this thread from a year ago. I think we scared away sillygoosedown :(

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/691867

        Mr Taster

        1. Thanks for the tip, jackattack. I often walk by Diddy Reese, shake my head at the looooooong lines and go without my desert. My waistline is probably better, but it damns you for letting us know about La Galleta. <Shakes fist!>

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          La Galleta
          964 Gayley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

          1. While i was as student at UCLA the price of an ice cream sandwich at Diddy Riese was raised from $1.00 to $1.25 and finally to $1.50. You wouldn't have believed the size of the controversy this caused on campus complete with number Daily Bruin editorials.

            1. OOPS! Just tried to order some cookies and found out I had posted the wrong phone number for La Galleta. The correct phone number is 310) 824 6000

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              La Galleta
              964 Gayley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

              3 Replies
              1. re: jackattack

                Jackattack do you work for La Galleta

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                La Galleta
                964 Gayley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                1. re: magic man

                  No mm , I work for diddy riese, we're trying to cut down on our workload. :)

                  1. re: jackattack

                    diddy riese has always been busy, but they seem even busier recently! But considering the movie opening lines I waited in as a kid there it's not so bad ;^)

                    I buy a dozen, de vez en cuando and they freeze well

                1. I've always assumed that diddy reese uses the equivalent of a pillsbury chocolate chip cookie dough log for their cookies...which doesn't necessarily taste bad...but you get what you pay for.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Dylan

                    sure, you cant really offer cookies at that price if you are using expensive ingredients. It's prolly 2 basic cookie formulas (one reg and one choc) with different mix-in's. I don't think they are hiding anything. Even a cheap cookie tastes good fresh out of the oven and they have high enough turn over to pull it off.

                    And I can buy a dozen for very cheap, freeze them and re heat for my occasional sugar craving. If I want something really good, I'll just make it myself.

                    1. re: Dylan

                      Try the White Choclate Macademia Nut Cookie and you will change your mind on 3 for a buck.. These cookie are wonderful and way underpriced in my mind. Why complain.. Diddy Reese is a bargin in my opinion

                      1. re: Foodandwine

                        I agree with Foodandwine.... Diddy Riese is pretty darn good, and a great bargain. They may have a simple recipe and yes,I agree with AAQjr, that most cookies taste awesome right out of the oven. I think the fact they are busy most of the time leads to a good cookie turnover and fresh, in this case, works to their advantage. With many other cookie shops that aren't busy, you know that cookie has been sitting there for far too long.

                        I'll readily admit that I may be biased because I am an alumnus of UCLA... and have fond memories of the place. I actually don't mind the long line since it affords you time to talk with friends AND because it moves fast enough.

                        My favorite Diddy Riese creation though is their ice cream sandwich with 2 cinnamon-sugar cookies and a scoop of the Dreyer's vanilla.

                    2. After making our way past the 50 people in line to have dinner (it was 6:30pm!!!!) at Diddy Riese, we followed this Chow post to La Galleta on Gayley. La Galleta was empty, but the server was nice and the cookies in the case looked good. We tried a lemon frosted one, a chocolate chip and an oatmeal raisin...three for $1.00.

                      But...not good. Walking around Westwood can usually enhance the taste of anything in a bag or in a cup with a straw, but we did not like these cookies at all. They had a funky "chemical" note to them (perhaps from sitting in a plastic display case?) and left my palate with a greasy Crisco film.

                      I'll be back in line at Diddy Riese with all the others next week...I love their cookies!

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                      La Galleta
                      964 Gayley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: liu

                        Yum. Nothing like a bit of chemicals to make Crisco go down smoother!

                        By the way, liu, if you are ever in SGV, head over to Cathy's Bakery for some of their homemade black sesame chips.

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                        Cathy's Bakery
                        708 E Las Tunas Dr, C San Gabriel, CA

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Hi, ipsedixit!

                          "...if you are ever in SGV..."
                          It's my favorite place to be!
                          Sea Harbour dim sum was delicious this past Saturday morning!! We arrived at 10:45am and took the last empty table.

                          With you in mind, I just put Cathy's Bakery on my list!
                          Are these black sesame chips crispy? sweet?
                          What do you like about them?
                          And while I am there, what else should I try?

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                          Cathy's Bakery
                          708 E Las Tunas Dr, C San Gabriel, CA

                          1. re: liu

                            Crispy and savory. It's almost like pork rinds with flecks of black sesame. Very addictive.

                            Other than the black sesame chips? It's pretty much your typical Chinese bakery, so you'll find mango, strawberry, and taro cakes. But if you were to try other things, I might recommend the potato salad sandwich. Carb overload, baby!

                            (Also, don't you mean "Sea Harbour" and not "SeaFOOD Harbour"?

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Uh, yes: Sea Harbour -- and NOT "SeaFOOD Harbour" as I so carelessly typed!
                              I was thinking about "FOOD." I was drooling on the keyboard so my fingers (and my brain) slipped.

                              Thanks, ipse-, for this bakery recommendation. These chips sound like something I might chase!

                              I have walked into a lot of Asian bakeries, mostly just to enjoy the art -- as I might in a museum. Whenever I do taste, it is usually the sweeter items. I like Asian bakeries because even the sweetest sweets are usually not nearly as rich as some other bakeries. Your potato salad sandwich suggestion intrigues me.

                              1. re: liu

                                I just remembered that I waxed poetic about these black sesame chips many years ago.

                                Read more here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/394343

                                Take your Lipitor with you. In buckets.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  Four years ago...you were funny and clever then, too!
                                  That's a great post, ipsedixit!

                                  And I am surprised that no one replied...I am SO ready to try those black sesame chips!

                                  By the way, are you a Diddy Riese fan? Did you ever return to try the cookies at La Galleta?

                                  1. re: liu

                                    Yeah, I like Diddy Riese.

                                    I have not been back to La Galleta for a variety of reasons. I don't get to Westwood too often unless I'm teaching at UCLA Extension, and I was still under the impression that they were cash only.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      What do you teach at UCLA extension? They accepted card last time I went.

                      2. Diddy Riese is the Paris Hilton of bakeries -- it's famous for being famous. It contributes nothing excellent to to food scene, yet people line up. Why? Because people always step into line when they see a crowd. Sometimes the crowd is wrong...

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: glutton

                          No, it is famous for being cheap and tasty.

                          I suppose that is sort of like Paris Hilton, except she is famous for being cheap and tasteless. After all, she bestowed Kim Kardashashsian on us, and by comparison Paris looks outright talented. At least Diddy Riese never tried to launch a music career. But, I digress.

                          1. re: tj442x

                            Cheap, definitely. Tasty? I wouldn't characterize them this way. I'm sure lots of UCLA alumni view these cookies with nostalgia, which I respect. But for an objective consumer with no sentimentality, I think it's a different story, as so many n this board seem to agree.

                        2. tried the orange empanada at La Galleta today.
                          fantastic price/quality/quantity ratios.

                          -----
                          La Galleta
                          964 Gayley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: westsidegal

                            Orange empanada? Wow - please give us the details!

                            1. re: bulavinaka

                              it is a sweet, not savory, pastry.
                              the orange curd inside tastes as though the flavor had something to do with a real orange.
                              the sugar was complementary to the pastry, and NOT overpowering.

                              it should be said that i am not a fan of the diddy cookies. to my palate they are a combo bomb of artificial flavor and sugar.: not worth a tenth of the calories involved. i dunno if the folks that love the diddy stuff would even like the La Galleta pastry nearly as much as i did because the two have completely different appeals.

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                              La Galleta
                              964 Gayley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                              1. re: westsidegal

                                Wow - that orange empanada sounds tasty - maybe a weekend run in Westwood is in order... thanks!

                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                  it is also very cheap, less than a dollar.
                                  when i paid with a five dollar bill, i was shocked to see four singles AND coins put back in my hand. didn't count the coins, just put them in the tip jar.

                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                    Yay! La Galleta has one more fan! Soon they will be up to a dozen loyal customers!

                                    Don't forget to try the Almond cookies.....they should be selling these to upscale chinese restaurants they are SO good.

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                                    La Galleta
                                    964 Gayley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                          2. tried the chocolate bread pudding yesterday.
                            it obviously had been baked in a "big muffin" muffin tray.
                            good size.
                            although it didn't taste very chocolaty to me it still ranked as a good, amazingly cheap ($1.50) treat.
                            even some of the expensive bakeries in town screw this dish up by making it either too sugary or too dense or both.
                            the pudding at la galleta, on the other hand, was moist, not sickeningly sweet, and NOT dense.

                            i have to admit, though, that even though i liked the bread pudding, i like their orange empanada still more.
                            at this price level, i haven't had better.