Moist double chocolate chip cookies speckled with rich chocolate chunks. Coconut cheesecake brownies drizzled in chocolate syrup. Chocolate mousse-filled buttercream cake frosted with tufts of dark chocolate. It’s clear that Loving Nutrition’s desserts embody indulgent excess. It may come as a surprise then that they also embody vegan ideals, containing no gluten, dairy, egg, soy, or nuts. A pastry mecca for those with vegan beliefs or food allergies, Loving Nutrition stems from the brain of Suraya Iller, a pastry chef and mother of two. After noticing that many children with food allergies were excluded from eating birthday cakes and holiday treats, she swooped to the rescue, baking desserts that everyone could enjoy. In addition to whipping up red velvet cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, and buttercream cakes, the shop also serves a variety of gluten-free breads, including tomato focaccia and pumpkin cranberry.
Any bakery that’s been open for nearly half a century is likely to have a signature treat, and at French’s Pastry Bakery, it’s the wagon wheel. The oversize danish is layered with a standard smear of cream cheese, then sweetened with a combination of fresh fruit, such as apricot or cinnamon apple. Other breakfast items include coffeecakes and muffins in flavors such as cranberry orange or honey bran. Of course, like the best dentist offices, there are desserts as well. Customers can take home whole pies or custom cakes made with real whipped cream or buttercream. Fresh banana filling tucks into chocolate cake, and ganache icing tops a cake layered with raspberry Bavarian cream. The Costa Mesa location bakes fresh bread on-location and uses it to serve up a variety of sandwiches.
For more than 60 years, the innovative cake artists of Cinderella Cakes have been creating celebratory desserts that push the boundaries of both flavor and physics. Prominently featured as winners on TLC's The Ultimate Cake Off, the bakery's team of artists sculpt impeccable carved cakes for specific occasions, such as a golf bag to celebrate retirement, or a guitar to mark a successful instrument restringing. The same artists also lend their expertise and personalized touch to elegant and innovative wedding cakes, cupcakes, and bouquets of theme cookies. They stock their shelves with fresh ready-to-go cakes, ideal for unexpected celebrations such as a surprise engagement or the birth of a mayfly. Professional decorators also spread their sweet wisdom during private cake-decorating classes and birthday parties.
Amy at Mezmereyez Eyelash Extensions is a licensed aesthetician who extends and primps her clients’ eye fringe. Standard extensions last up to three weeks, but guests can also opt for party lashes that last anywhere from 2 to 10 days—the same time it takes to recover from the surprise that a man legally named Charles Eli Cheese is at your birthday party.
On a patio shade by large umbrellas, or inside amidst the whir of an espresso machine and walls littered with art, The Neighborhood Cup fosters that sought-after feeling of coffee-house leisure. Resident baristas craft coffee and espresso drinks, manipulating the bubbly foam of lattes into intricate patterns such as portraits of the Mona Lisa drinking a cappuccino. Patrons also find coffee-colored leather couches and chairs, as well as a menu of breakfast bites, sandwiches, and snacks. The Neighborhood Cup also hosts events, including open-mic nights and classic-car gatherings to see whose muscle car can knock back the most espresso shots.