As visitors devour spoonfuls of sweet, creamy frozen treats at Menchie’s, they may notice a string of ’90s-era sitcom stars arriving to sample the wares and chat with the man in charge. That’s because owner/operator David Lipper first made a name for himself on Full House playing D.J. Tanner’s boyfriend Viper. Today, Lipper proudly sits atop a local frozen-yogurt empire, edging out his fellow cast mates’ enterprises, including Dave Coulier’s network of Swiss banks and John Stamos’s ’50s-themed doggy daycare. Inside the shop, diners select from a colorful array of flavors, such as low-carb pistachio or fruity watermelon tart, and crown their creation with toppings including sprinkles, mocha, hot fudge, and locally grown fruits.
Primera Taza cultivates an international atmosphere with a menu replete with Central American coffees, gourmet teas, healthy sandwiches, and Mexican-inspired pastries. Complimentary WiFi streams through the airwaves of the cheerily lit café as multitalented baristas plate wholesome breakfast sandwiches, whose toasted croissant might enclose layers of egg, bacon, and cheese. Fostering a sense of community⎯which staffers also support with fundraising events and participation in a weekly farmers' market⎯Primera Taza’s active art gallery showcases the creations of local artists, and free parking in the rear spares customers the hassle of trying to parallel park a flying hovercraft.
When your army of Easy-Bake Ovens has been deactivated by Y2010K, a tragic pastry-sized void may consume your days. Today's Groupon plays dental assistant to your sweet tooth with $20 worth of cakes and pastries from Torrance Bakery for $10. Locations in Torrance and Gardena, the former housing its own sandwich shop as well, are eager to pack your cheeks with baked and hand-prepared delicacies more pristine than sculpted hedges sculpted by the lasers used for eye surgery.
Skinny Minny’s invites customers to control their own dessert destiny with self-service stations to fill cups with non-fat, low-fat, no sugar added, and sorbet swirls sprinkled with as many toppings as they see fit. A full hour of unlimited yogurt throws the doors wide for an onslaught of creations that combine pistachio and chocolate under a blanket of toffee or cheesecake mountains studded with a forest of blueberries, kiwi, and strawberries. Cap’n Crunch can scale to the frosty apex of premium low-fat peanut butter fro-yo or slide down the fudge-drenched slopes of non-fat Georgia peach yogurt. Yogurt’s natural colonies of beneficial active cultures make it a healthy alternative to soft-serve ice cream, and, much like colonies on Roanoke Island, mysteriously disappear after exposure to the elements.
With nods from DailyCandy and L.A. Foodie, B1 Breadshop has earned street cred among locals and visitors alike for its boulangerie-style pastries and organic-flour baguettes. Here, you can nosh on sweet treats including buttery chocolate cookies, apple turnovers, and Valrhona-chocolate croissants. If you’re in the mood for savory, dig into an organic spinach-and-feta croissant or café sandwich.
Run by husband-and-wife duo Hien and Amber, the Doughnut Deli serves up an array of fresh, artisan donuts and long johns. Flavors run the gamut from s’more to bacon maple, topped with a syrup frosting, sliced bacon strips, and bits of a lumberjack’s spare flannel. You can also build your own donut and top it with candies or cereals including M&Ms, pretzels, caramel popcorn, and Cocoa Pebbles.
Every Friday, from 9 p.m. to midnight, stop by for a hot blueberry donut; make it a la mode with a scoop of french vanilla ice cream. In addition to its signature treat, the deli also offers fresh sandwiches, croissants, sodas, coffee, and juices. With advanced notice, Doughnut Deli is happy to work with custom orders or special requests.