Out of nearly 250 different kinds of organic gelato and sorbet flavors made from local, seasonal fruit whenever possible, N’iceCream picks 16 to showcase each day, ensuring they're never more than 12 hours old. N’iceCream sweetens its frozen delights with cane sugar, eschewing the artificial preservatives and colors that are so common among sorbets and donated kidneys today. A scoop or two ($3.50–$4.50) of elegant stracciatella or playful peanut-butter gelato causes taste buds to bloom like a time-lapsed rose, especially when garnished with a sprinkling of homemade toppings ($.50). Delight a finicky family by scooping up a half liter ($9.50) of three customer’s-choice flavors such as salted caramel, cookie crunch, or orange cream.
Six months prior to Nothing Bundt Cakes' grand opening in 1997, best friends Dena Tripp and Debra Shwetz toiled away in the kitchen in order to perfect a bundt-cake recipe that would lavish palates with flavors reminiscent of homestyle treats of days past. Within today's bustling bakery, cake crafters mingle high-quality ingredients, such as fresh eggs, real butter, and cream cheese sourced from spelling-bee-champion cows, to whip up such flavors as chocolate chip, pecan praline, and white-chocolate raspberry. Sweet scents waft from the shop’s ovens as customers select their frosting-flecked dessert from sizes ranging from towering tier cakes to individual Bundtlets, a size ideal for the solo snacker.
A French patisserie with a touch of Japanese tea-garden style, Valen Dolcé guides palates on a culinary tour of both cultures with tea and macaroon pairings. Taste buds sprout into full-blown taste blooms to savor the floral notes in the lavender earl grey, white goji blossom, or other tea varietals selected to complement macaroon counterparts. Pomegranate green tea two-steps with raspberry macaroons in a sweet, tart tango, or sweet teeth caper through fields of lavender chamomile with lavender-apricot macaroons. Couples or quartets while away the afternoon in an intimate tea and coffee house ideal for quiet conversations or gentlemanly games of lawn darts.
The gifted tart architects at Früute incorporate myriad fresh and organic ingredients inside handcrafted modern incarnations of the classic French treat. During the 60-minute tart experience, paired patrons can whet their whistles with coffee or tea and admire the harmonious construction and aria-inspiring tastes of a flight of signature tarts. Each flight includes an arrangement of six of Früute's 16 miniature varieties—which range from the classic passion fruit, a vanilla crust donning a tropical macaroon hat, to the curiously flavored wasabi, spicy Japanese horseradish housed in a pistachio crust and topped with a tempura mint leaf. As guests sample the wares, knowledgeable tartists will thoroughly explain each square-shaped selection's ingredients, core flavors, and unsuitability for use as earrings. Guests can conclude their experience by relaxing in Früute's sleek, minimalistic interior and heading off with a quartet of to-go tarts, tucked into a stylish box made from recycled paper.
Originally designed as a way to use scraps of bread, bread pudding has found a place in the hearts and stomachs of those who grew up with its comforting flavors. But when Sculzies Bread Pudding owner Sarah Schulz began crafting her own versions of bread pudding, she knew one traditional flavor could never be enough to satiate her desire for this homey treat. So she began experimenting and shopping for inspiration at the Santa Monica farmer's market, and before long she had developed the 108 flavors she now serves daily.
She first bakes and then chills her dessert to create a deliciously cold treat for the California heat. Once its the right temperature, she serves up portions in unique flavor combinations such as bacon maple, strawberry balsamic, and earl grey. She pairs treats with cups of coffee from Blue Bottle Coffee Co. to create snacks that make mornings brighter without wearing reverse sunglasses. When packaging up dishes to go, she uses only biodegradable utensils and plateware, and prevents anything in her kitchen, from bread scraps to paper plates, from going to waste.