Mary and Bruce took the reins at ABC Cake Decorating Shoppe and Bakery a little more than a decade ago; however, the bakery and shop has been dishing out tasty baked treats for more than 50 years. The bakers craft cupcakes, cookies, desserts, and custom cakes for all occasions, with more than 10 cake flavors that include banana, carrot, lemon, and red velvet. They supplement these with 25 filling options, including cream, mousse, fruit, and other fillings. The teaching studio holds regular classes for chefs of all levels, in subjects ranging from cake decorating and chocolate 101 to gingerbread-house decorating and cookie baking.
Though it serves only desserts, Cherry on Top keeps its customers’ health in mind: each of its frozen-yogurt flavors contains live, active cultures believed to aid in digestion and overall health. The shop also allows for customization. Visitors create their own frozen treats at a self-serve bar, choosing from 12 fruit-tart flavors such as green apple, orange cranberry, and lychee and 33 cream-based flavors such as chocolate-cherry jubilee and oatmeal cookie. Cherry on Top also finishes treats with a long list of toppings, ranging from fresh blueberries, kiwi, and pineapple to gummy bears, cereal, brownies, and M&Ms. These self-serve selections are available at more than 30 locations in the United States, Egypt, Kuwait, and Hong Kong.
Tucked away in the kitchen of each Paris Baguette, bakers trained in French techniques craft buttery, flaky croissants and tart crusts, and their success at this has earned attention from the likes of the New York Times. In addition to pastries and sweets such as mocha rice balls, the bakers knead bread for their namesake baguettes and yeasty creations that hold an Asian twist, such as red-bean-paste-filled donuts. The experts also create fondant-cloaked cakes that venture beyond classic flavors into green tea, cappuccino, and sweet potato, delighting partygoers bored of the same laminated sheet cake that makes its appearance at each year’s birthday celebration.
To wash down these treats, patrons sip cups of java or more exotic drinks such as wheatgrass and black-sesame lattes, persimmon smoothies, and bubble tea. At lunchtime, many locations layer sandwiches, filling hungry stomachs with croque monsieurs and baguettes stuffed with chicken and pesto.
Any American-style neighborhood 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. Each location has their own staff of bakers, so all items are baked fresh on-site.
Arnabal International produces the gourmet infused oils and vinegars of Gourmet Kitchen O&V and Les Lavendes and features cookies from Gloria’s Gourmet. Sprinkle salads, marinate meat, or fill a hot tub with a fragrant field of lavender vinegar (200 ml. for $9.99). For an aromatic cooking choice that's finely aged but not quite over the hill, order a balsamic vinegar, naturally sweet and aged for 20 years (200 ml. for $19.99). Blood-orange oil (200 ml. for $7.99) makes a sweet and tart topping for chicken salads, sautéed seameat, and numerous veggies that would otherwise become indistinguishable to the indifferent tongue. Gloria’s Gourmet Cookies are ideal as after-dinner treats while entertaining or delectable for munching solo in a darkened room. Savor a yellow packet of caramel lemon-drop bites ($2.60), or go decadent with choc-orange sandwich cookies stuffed with raspberry jam ($5.50).