Just like the real Paradise, filled with edible angels and knowledge of good and evil trees, Paradis's flavors change with the seasons and the mood of its cows. No day is ever the same, but it will always have inventive flavors for even the most discerning: 2009 saw the introduction of silky ice cream concoctions such as strawberry buttermilk and peanut crunch chocolate chip as well as effusive sorbets such as mint lime and orange chili. One scoop goes for $3.50, milkshakes with two flavors go for $5, and ice cream by the pint ($10) and quart ($20) for parties and Arctic picnics.
The majority of the activity at Code Blue Cafe takes place outside. Under a canopy and warmed by heating lamps, guests lounge on couches and nibble on American and Middle Eastern dishes while puffing flavored smoke from elegant hookahs. Dishes include burgers loaded with onion rings or guacamole, beef kebab sandwiches, and gigantic ice-cream cookies. Fifteen flavors of Al Fakher hookah and 44 of Exotic Starbuzz hookah range from the straightforward such as spearmint, mango, and royal grape, to the more mysterious such as Pirates Cave, Passion Kiss, and Pink.
Featured on Good Day LA and ABC, as well as the occasional celebrity snapshot in Star, chocolatiers at ChocolateBox Cafe cloak tongues with artisan chocolates, gelato, and hot cocoa crafted with Belgian expertise. Visitors can also fuel up with a savory mélange of crepes and wraps stuffed with French words. Whether nabbing a gift box of pralines, sniffing out a truffle as an afternoon snack, or arranging a catered wedding or event, chocolate fiends can get their fix in the form of finely, ornately decorated candies and gourmet hot chocolate.
Goldstein's fresh bagels are made by hand daily, dipped into a boiling bath and hearth baked for a glossy sheen and hearty interior. A bevy of circular creations await your mouth hub, including specialty bagels like cinnamon-raisin, asiago cheese, and delectable peanut butter chocolate chip, as well as classic favorites such as egg, poppy seed, and pumpernickel (usually $6 for six bagels). Upgrade doughy disks with schmears of herb, strawberry, or lox cream cheese, or pair with fresh-squeezed orange or coffee.
The dessert designers at Penguin's Frozen Yogurt ameliorate sweet deficiencies with twice-weekly rotating yogurt and ice-cream flavors. Decorate a large soft serve cup of fro' yo' ($3.95) with fruit toppings ($.95), sundae toppings ($.90), or dry toppings ($.80). Insufficiently frigid palates can achieve cold-stasis with a double-scoop of ice cream ($3.95) or a custom shake ($4.95), and humans can pull all-dayers with a pastry and Peet's Coffee & Tea cappuccino or latte (available only at the South Pasadena location).
The Coffee Gallery Backstage is the intimate, 49-seat performance space attached to The Coffee Gallery, a locally owned caffeinery. Genre-spanning acts grace the Gallery stage almost nightly, and other than an admission charge (usually between $15 and $20) there is no food or drink minimum. Performances include everything from vaudeville to country, and the open-minded staff welcomes talented, undiscovered niche acts that combine disparate styles, such as jazz-rock, salsa-pop, rock-rock, and pop-pop. Upcoming events include Druha Trava—an acclaimed Czech bluegrass band that will bring its tradition-melding sounds to the Gallery on September 29—and Border Radio, an acoustic band featuring the intricate fiddle work of Mark Indicator and scheduled to perform on October 2. Spectator spots fill up fast, so reservations are strongly encouraged.