When asked by Jim O’Conner on the Food Network's “Secret Life of Cookies” how many thousands of years old his mamoul cookie recipe is, Panos Zetlian could only guess: “Maybe six, maybe five, maybe eight.” At his self-named bakery, his daughter, Jovina, and her husband, Nick, churn out this and other recipes that her father perfected as a baker in Beirut, Lebanon. They make all of their baklava from scratch—the dough is free of trans fats, additives, and preservatives—and fill some varieties with freshly ground pistachios, walnuts, almonds, or cashews. Their repertoire also includes coconut macaroons, butter cookies, and chocolate truffles, along with other Middle Eastern specialties such as the atief ashta, a bundled, pancake-like dessert filled with milk crème, dipped in pistachios, and used to make taco vendors jealous.
L.A. Creamery Artisan Ice Cream is frequently featured on television and in the press. The Daily Find praised the eclectic selection at L.A. Creamery. The Los Angeles Daily News featured the shop as one of its "Small Bites," and L.A. Creamery was seen in the "Dine on a Dime" segment on CBS News. Yelpers give the Canoga Park location an average of four stars.
Karen and her three sons craft Cheesecake Company's 120 flavors of cheesecakes in mini-cup and sharable portions using fresh, local ingredients and a made-from-scratch approach. Appease lovers of desserts with miniature cakes shaped into bite-size masterpieces in flavors such as black-forest vanilla and caramel pecan turtle vanilla. Mini cheesecakes with no added sugar fit neatly into mouths bringing flavor tidings of pumpkin, chocolate fudge, and lemon basil. Ten-inch cheesecakes fill bellies with classic flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, espresso, and red velvet—a slab of vanilla cheesecake caught in a hug between red velvet cakes, topped with cream-cheese frosting that’s as velvety as a Bing Crosby record in a velour jacket. Pacific Cheesecake Company is actively involved in the community, and is a loyal partner with a handful of charities.
Although Urartu Coffee's convenient online ordering system helps guests to nosh on the go, its free WiFi and stylish seating urges them to stay awhile as they savor the menu of fresh pastries and build-your-own sandwiches. Bread and bagels insulate deli-style meats with garnishes such as basil leaves and olives as croissants brim with fruit, chocolate, and cheese, all dunk-worthy in the café’s myriad coffees and teas. For a fruity jolt more satisfying than shoving a strawberry into a light socket, Urartu’s skilled baristas blend smoothies and squeeze juice daily in a wide array of flavors.
In 1984, Greg and Rose Tcholakian decided that, in order to truly share their traditional Middle Eastern eats with the world, a bigger kitchen was in order. That led them to open Carousel Restaurant in an intimate storefront. In 1998, they passed the business to their son, Mike, who expanded upon his parents' growing legacy by moving to a larger location, where he could incorporate more of his family’s culture into every detail. He enhanced the eatery's decor with traditional artwork and decorative scimitars, and put together a live band to back up a large belly-dancing troupe on Fridays and Saturdays. Over the years, Mike has also added to the menu, which now includes more than 50 appetizers in addition to his parents' signature kebabs and pilafs. Today he still helms the business, steering it toward its 30th anniversary and millionth belly shaken as his guests continue to come nightly for a taste of his family’s food and culture.
Intent on capturing as many farm-fresh flavors as possible, The Wooden Fork indulges patrons with a healthful menu of casual, caf?-style meals made with fresh, nourishing ingredients. The breakfast selection of wraps, omelets, and fresh toast competes for visitors' attention with a variety of lunch options, which includes creative salads as well as sandwiches topped with everything from oven-roasted turkey, brie, and granny smith apples to eggplant caviar, fresh buffalo mozzarella, and pesto. To accompany these hearty meals, the staff members also spend their days blending juices and smoothies using an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Wooden Fork's decor mirrors the eatery's casual vibe by featuring a variety of rustic and modern elements. Mismatched chairs surrounding stout wooden tables, chandelier-like light fixtures, and giant chalkboards on the wall all combine to lend a distinctively homespun vibe to the space. At the same time, the dining area includes a handful of modern touches?meticulously placed wall tiles create the appearance of exposed brickwork, and the staff cools baked goods in the glass display case by regularly shooting them with a freeze ray. This inviting ambiance finds even more reinforcement in the live music, book readings, and cooking classes that regularly occur.