Last week, I blogged about some of the California eats that I enjoyed on my recent trip to the West Coast. Today, I’ll continue sharing my food adventure in the golden state with a focus on sweets and snacks.
As you may know, I am obsessed with French macaron cookies – so much that I learned to make them myself (see post on nutella macarons)! When I discovered that Milk Shop, an ice cream parlor in LA, served macaron ice cream cookie sandwiches, I knew that I had to make a special trip there. Inside Milk, there were display cases full of baked goods and confections, as well as freezers with stacks of frozen treats like ice cream sandwiches and strawberry shortcake ice cream bars, etc.. I ordered the red velvet ice cream cookie sandwich dipped in white chocolate. Although it was not freshly made to order, it still tasted amazing. Macarons are usually very fragile with an eggshell-like texture; these cookies barely cracked until you bite them. They also had a blue velvet version.
Since it was so warm on the West Coast, it made for a good excuse to grab ice cream when shopping. While walking in Beverly Hills, the Ice Cream Lab caught my eye. It turned out that they made liquid nitrogen ice cream. Being the food nerd that I am, I was already aware of this innovative food science concept of using liquid nitrogen to create fresh ice cream from scratch instantly. I tried the Salt Lick Crunch flavor, which consisted of vanilla ice cream, pretzels, caramel sauce, and sea salt. It was my first time tasting this type of ice cream and I really enjoyed it. The texture was perfectly creamy and the flavors were incredibly fresh. As far as I know, this doesn’t exist in New England.
I love Little Tokyo – the Japanese district in LA, home to many Japanese restaurants, markets, and gift shops. If you’re in the area, Café Dulce is a must stop for the scrumptious Japanese doughnuts. I tried green tea, hazelnut crumble, strawberry ‘n cream, and bacon flavor. Each one was unique in taste and fluffy soft. I didn’t get to try the milk tea or coffee, which I heard were great complements to these delicious doughnuts.
Beignets are the cousins to doughnuts: similar in taste and texture but without the hole in the middle. I had brunch at Bottega Louie, a famous restaurant and bakery in Downtown LA and ordered the signature beignets with raspberry compote. This was the highlight of our meal. The beignets were warm, fluffy, and sugary. When dipped into the tart raspberry sauce, it tasted like the best jelly doughnut I’ve ever had. These beignets were so good that I went back the next morning to pick some up for a quick breakfast.
No trip to California is complete without a stop at a See’s candies shop. My favorite candy is the Toffee-ettes, described as “crunchy, buttery toffee and whole almonds drenched in milk chocolate and chopped almonds.” If you love almonds like I do, then you’ll really enjoy these, especially since California almonds are known to be top quality. Local department stores may sell See’s candies throughout the year, but I rarely find Toffee-ettes on our coast.
If you’ve ever visited the golden state, what were your favorite food memories?