Row upon row of baked, fried, and shredded dough line the glass case at Baklava Factory, tantalizing customers with a bounty of honey, walnuts, and custard cream. The factory’s pastry experts concoct more than a dozen kinds of baklava each day alongside other European and Mediterranean sweets, such as fried balls of dough dipped in honey. Customers can sip espresso or cappuccino as they peruse these confections and the bakery’s array of elaborate gift boxes and baskets filled with Belgian chocolates, cookies, and, of course, baklava. Baklava Factory also does corporate gifting and enlivens events with custom cakes embellished with edible butterflies, cartoon characters, and rhinestones capable of fooling amateur jewel thieves.
Bakers at Beard Papa Sweet Cafe fill flaky Japanese double-layer cream puff shells with rich, preservative-free custard in a variety of flavors. Choose an original vanilla cream puff ($2.19), stuffed with velvety custard flavored with imported vanilla beans as sweet as the smile of a baby robot, or stock up on regular pastry spheres by the half-dozen or dozen ($11.55–$21.59). Customers can opt to add a specialty flavor ($2.55 each) to custardy cores, such as green tea made with premium Japanese tea or chocolate crafted from a blend of two high-quality European brands. Patrons may gather specialty puffs in groups of six ($13.55) or 12 ($25.50) to share with friends or presiding judges. Or peruse additional decadent sweets, including a personal-portioned cheesecake stick or fondant au chocolate, a single-serving cake made with Belgian chocolate and filled with an equally cocoarific center.
When Millions of Milkshakes introduces a new milkshake or smoothie, paparazzi and screaming fans usually attend the event. That’s because these drink exposés often dovetail with a celebrity appearance—stars such as Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan, and Albert Einstein have hand-crafted desserts that now appear on the creamery's menu.
In addition to serving celebrity-endorsed desserts, Millions of Milkshakes prepares custom-made creations. It does so in three steps, scooping a base (dairy or non-dairy ice cream), tailoring the dessert to a size, and mixing in toppings. Its roster of nearly 60 toppings includes everything from candy and hot fudge to fresh fruit and protein powder.
Between the celebrity following, the DIY process, and the bright-colored shop with plasma screens and modern music, Millions of Milkshakes has attracted the attention of many national news outlets, including E! and NBC News.
Inspired by Taiwanese frozen-ice treats, Snobar flash-freezes flavor-infused water to create chilly, low-cal desserts known as Sno. The shop trades gooey syrups for purified water and crisp, natural flavors such as chocolate-strawberry and honeydew, making each bite cooler and creamier than a stick of butter wearing a leather jacket. Unlike standard shaved ice, each cup of Sno boasts a consistent flavor and a light, ribbon-like texture. Though Sno enchants sweet teeth on its own, its charm multiplies when paired with toppings such as Ghirardelli caramel, crunchy granola, and unsolicited compliments.
Whipp'd OC swirls six flavors of Dole Whip into cups for a dairy-, gluten-, and fat-free treat that can only be found in West Hollywood, at the Disney resorts, and at Dole Plantation in Hawaii. Whipp'd OC is also one of the only establishments that serves Blue Bell ice cream in the state of California, rotating 40 flavors including Homemade Vanilla, Banana Pudding, and Southern Blackberry Cobbler. Customers can pick from 5-ounce, 8-ounce, 16-ounce, or 32-ounce towers of Dole Whip flavors such as Foot Stompin Strawberry to fuel dispirited toes or choose Pulsating Pineapple, which once lurked under the floorboards in Edgar Allan Poe’s room. An array of more than 25 toppings can dapple Venturous Vanilla, Wild & Deep Chocolate, or Big Hairy Raspberry to diversify cups' flavor bouquets next to Whipp'd's new addition, hawaiian shave ice.