My sweet tooth is out of control. There’s some people who say that, ‘they have one too’ but then follow that confession with ungodly words like, “oh but I don’t like cake.” or. “I have the biggest sweet tooth too! But I don’t like sour things” … see, this is where me and the rest of the world differ. I like ALL desserts. I’m an equal dessert opportunist, and I work my ass out everyday so that when I go out I don’t have to shoot icy glances at my waiter for slipping a dessert menu on to the table, instead I can accept excitedly because I deserve dessert. Well, one great thing about being in the land of perfection, despite being surrounded by buzz kills like spin studios and juice cleanses, is that LA looooves their treats and certain sugary indulgences. Oh yes we do. LA is home to some of the best bakeries, confectioners, creamers, and chocolatiers in the world! Yeah, I’ll go ahead and take it that far; the world. I have experienced quite a bit of them as you can imagine, so for your pleasure I have rounded up 5 of my favorite places of 2013 to grab dessert only. I’d be completely content skipping breakfast lunch and dinner all together just to stuff my face with some of the items these places have to offer. I give you 100% permission to indulge, it’s December for fucks sake, all our pants our tight, whatever I say! Go ahead and yo dessert on!
This one is first on my list because I’m an ice cream girl. If I could have it everyday, despite being lactose intolerant, I would. Ever since my days of weekly visits to Baskin Robbins as a kid, I love me some icy, creamy deliciousness. I discovered Coolhaus in its truck days when they showed up to a few events, and every time they were in my presence they were the first truck I ran to. I cannot, I repeat cannot, resist homemade cookies and homemade unique ice creams that come together to make a perfect ice cream sammich. I mean, when’s the last time you had an ice cream sandwich… yeah probably a long time ago, so trust me when I say you’ve never had one like Coolhaus’s. They now have a LA store location conveniently located in Culver City (maybe 5 minutes from my apartment), and when I’m feeling real good about my gym accomplishments I mosey on in for a new treat. They’re always making different cookies and ice creams so there is always something new to try, which is of course dangerously delightful. The store has some room for seating and plenty of other things to offer besides just ice cream sandwiches (like homemade hot chocolate YUM); Coolhaus is always willing and able to fulfill your sweet tooth needs in any way they can. I love that about them?
This is the “bougie”-er dessert place on the list, but Hatfields has perfected desserts for years and still continues to blow our minds. When words like “tartlet”, “beignets” and “panna cotta” pepper a menu instead of “creme brulee” and “cheesecake”… you know they mean business in the dessert area. Karen Hatfield, Hatfields pastry chef, is renowned for her sweet creations and has made quite the name for the establishment solely on her pastry accomplishments. With so much attention to detail without being pretentious, these desserts are the real dessert deal, each with a uniqueness and straight up DELICIOUSNESS everyone with a taste for the sweeter things in life should enjoy at least once. You won’t hate the rest of your meal there either.
Tip: if you’d like to experience some different/inexpensive pastries and sweets, visit the Hatfields’ new restaurant Sycamore Kitchen for even more of their incredible creations! Namely the Salted Pecan Babka Roll. My mouth is watering just typing that.
3. Sweet Lady Jane
This is my go-to cake and cookie place. End of discussion. I swear to God they can do no wrong, they’ve perfected every kind of cake possible. The Triple Berry Shortcake is my personal favorite and I’ll use any excuse to get one; “oh you got a new job?! You broke up with your boyfriend?! Congratulations let’s get a cake!” I’ve discovered I’m pretty partial to the Chocolate Almond Crunch, Bananas and Cream, and White Chocolate Lemon cakes too… I’m on my way to trying every single one of their cakes and I see no problem with this. Besides the cakes though, their two locations in LA are just fun to visit; there are places to sit down, you can order tea or coffee with your treat, and they serve plenty of other sweets to choose from besides their incredible cakes. When I lived over in West LA, I used to frequent their Montana Ave. location on weekends after my long runs, it was so fun to get a coffee and a cookie and sit outside and people watch. Sweet Lady Jane has mastered cakes that’s for damn sure, but they’re truly the all around perfect LA bakery.
Before I moved to LA, true story, I used to drive from Orange Country up to Gjelina just to sit at the community tables with a friend and order the mushroom toast and dessert. To this day I still think they have some of the best desserts at any restaurant in Los Angeles. My go-to is always the Butterscotch Creme de Pot – I’d never thought salt on a dessert sounded like a good idea until I was introduced to this little minx. But since I can’t ever just get one dessert anyway, I have at least had the pleasure of trying their other items like the Banana and Chocolate Bread Pudding, the Flourless Chocolate Cake, and the Warm Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp. All deliciously perfect, familiar, and simple. Not to mention they are all the perfect way to end an amazing meal at Gjelina – it’s hard not to stuff yourself before you make it to dessert but trust me on this one, you’re going to want to save room.
5. The Pie Hole
I think… one of the cutest things you can do, ever, is go have tea/coffee and pie at The Pie Hole Downtown. Yup. Cutest. Thing. Ever. If you don’t like pie, fuck off (how can you not like pie?!), but at Pie Hole I’m pretty sure everyone can find something they’ll enjoy because they have more than just your average fruit pies. Yes, besides a Double Crust Apple, Maple Custard, Chocolate Crust Coconut, and Brown Sugar & Walnut Pocket pies, among many others, they also have savory pies such as a Chicken & Cornbread Pot Pie, a Mac n’ Cheese Pie, and Shepard’s Pie. But the success and joy that comes from Pie Hole is their pie pie, and it doesn’t get any more fun to be a dessert lover than to go out for a slice with a friend and enjoy just having dessert. Pie Hole was created for us sweet tooth people and they really know how to do pies right with unique modern touches that will leave every patron with an inner fat kid feeling all warm n’ fuzzy and completely satisfied.
Honorable Mentions: Joan’s On Third, Urth Cafe, Fonuts, Scoops, Sweet Rose Creamery, M Street Kitchen, Aventine, Amandine, Huckleberry, Farmshop, House of Pies, Tavern, Gjelina, Providence, Osteria Mozza, Sycamore Kitchen and many, many more.