Leafy palm fronds filter sunlight as it trickles in through House of Brews' expansive windows to land gingerly upon cups of freshly brewed coffee forged from Gaviña Gourmet Coffee beans. Visitors lounge by the fireplace with steaming cups of specialty espresso and tea drinks, the vibrations of free wireless Internet infusing the beverages with up-to-the-minute stock prices. Neatly manicured shrubs and trees shelter customers on the shaded courtyard patio, the café's wide variety of sandwiches, salads, and breakfast items lavish palates with all-day nourishment.
There are two spots to sip your chocolate-mint mocha or jasmine milk boba tea at Bounce Boba Loft. The first is inside, where visitors work on laptops or catch the news on the flat-screen TV. The other is the outdoor patio, a spot complete with wicker-backed chairs and umbrellas that block the sun's rays and the Goodyear blimp's surveillance cameras. Either is a suitable place to savor a peach smoothie or a panini with turkey breast and applewood-smoked bacon on french sourdough bread.
Western Bagel has captured local tongues and breadbaskets since first exporting its circular treats to the bagel-barren West Coast 63 years ago. The freshly baked dough-discs cover a wide range of flavors and styles. Recruit a seasoned trio of sesame, poppy seed, and everything varieties from the stable of original recipes and erect a fort by spackling them with rich cream cheese. Meanwhile, each of the six alternative selections, all nearly fat-free and 110 calories, pack a flavorful punch without fostering paunch.
Family owned and operated, Ninong's Pastries and Cafe serves up an intriguing assortment of bakery items, barista beverages, and specialty main dishes distinctly infused with Filipino heritage. Wrap your mouth around a handmade, family-recipe-stuffed empanada ($1.45 each) with your choice of chicken, beef, pork asado, corned beef, longanisa (sweet Filipino sausage), or spinach filling, or order an entire platter to experience lots of time-honored tastes in a single sitting ($8.70 for a half-dozen). Savory morning mouthfuls perk pepless patrons with dishes including Filipino corned beef and eggs ($5.50) and the classic ham-, pepper-, and onion-laden Denver omelet ($6.25), while the cafe's collection of muffins ($1.50), brownies ($1), fruit tarts ($3), cakes ($2.50 a slice), and more prepares customers for sweet dreams regardless of the time of day. For a satisfying lunch, pair the tang of pickled vegetables atop a tocino baguette sandwich (chicken or pork, $5.95) with some slurps of a sweet fruit smoothie ($3.25, add bobas for $0.80), or rinse down all of your rations with a cup of traditional-Filipino barako coffee ($1.75) for the energy to swim across a map of the Pacific with one eye behind your back.
Though they spent their childhoods on opposite coasts, husband and wife Pat and Kristin Roskowick both grew up loving frozen treats. Pat discovered his affinity for shave ice at the many raspados carts that kept the San Fernando Valley cool during the summertime, and Kristin begged her mother to traipse through three feet of snow during the harsh winters of Massachusetts to fetch her her beloved ice cream. Years later, those sweet-toothed kids were delighted when they found a dessert that combined both their favorite treats. A blend of fine shave ice, ice cream, and sweetened condensed milk, Hawaiian-style shave ice quickly became the Roskowick's new favorite dessert, and in 2008, the couple opened their own shop.
At Get Shaved, customers can select from a range of ice creams, flavored syrups, and toppings such as marshmallows and caramel to create their own shave ice treat. Monkey Brains––a blend of strawberry and banana shave ice and sweetened condensed milk––ranks as a “tried & true combo.” The staff also doles out scoops of ice cream in flavors such as macadamia nut and kona coffee to concoct ice cream cookie sandwiches and shakes. In addition to their storefronts, the Get Shaved traveling truck churns out icy desserts at different spots throughout the city based on a schedule that is updated online throughout the day.
When Van Keshish founded FantasiCakes, Inc., the sweet tarts and chocolate pastries came to you, whether at a corporate or celebrity event or within a local Los Angeles restaurant. Now with a brick-and-mortar shop all its own, FantasiCakes has the capabilities to ship coffee cakes and Bundt cakes across the country, winning new fans with ingredients such as Madagascar bourbon vanilla and cinnamon streusel. Since bakers make each delicacy individually and by hand, their shapes are as unique as those of newborns’ mushy heads.