Posts Tagged ‘Custard’

Everybody eats out of necessity, and not always just for the luxury. Basic meals come and go, as they simply provide fuel to make it to the next meal. But do most people simply consume their food and continue with their day, or do they stop to enjoy the sweeter things in life? Ask yourself this: do you eat to live, or live to eat? Nobody can honestly consider after-meal desserts a necessity in life, even if they possess a sweet tooth. Despite this, nature causes all creatures to prefer sweets over anything else. Should you have dessert with every meal? Not always. Can you have dessert any time you want, regardless of other factors like time and weather? Of course! Despite the increasingly cold weather approaching, one should never sacrifice desserts for uncontrollable reasons. By that notion, continue reading to see five desserts in the Greater Los Angeles area that I highly recommend consuming this winter.

5. The Loop Handcrafted Churros‘ Glazed Churro

We live in an age of technology, the internet, social media, and smartphones. The days of face-to-face interaction have died with the past, as most people spend their time in public with their faces buried in their smartphones. People use this as their means of interacting with others, and social media provides an outlet for that. Social media has also paved the way for one-upmanship, or posting something to gain more attention than the previous person – basically, “Oh yeah? Well check this out!” Especially today, we have Instagram food – basic foods made to look pretty so that customers will share it online. Plenty of Instagram food exists, such as at The Loop: Handcrafted Churros. Oddly located in a heavy Vietnamese area of Westminster, The Loop takes the basic churro and fancies it up for customers to snap away at it. Sure you could go to, say, a Costco and get a simple churro for a dollar, or you could spring $4.50 for one of The Loop’s Glazed Churro. The Loop takes one of their ready-made churros, dips about half of it in a glaze of your choice, and coats that part with a topping of your choice. It just looks so cute and fancy that you will want to share this with the digital world before you actually bite into it!

4. Pie ‘n Burger‘s Peanut Butter Meringue

Two major archetypes of people exist: the adventurous and the safe. By human nature, people prefer the familiar – after all, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This explains why corporate products can survive for so long because they continue to serve the exact same product that people grew up with. Because something has never changed over time, that must mean that people love it, right? For something traditional that the people always go back to, look no further than Pie ‘n Burger. This little diner in Pasadena has withstood the test of time with their simplistic approach to traditional diner foods in burgers, milkshakes, and pies. Pie ‘n Burger not only makes food that all customers recognize, but they make them delicious as well that rivals corporate equivalents. When it comes to pies, their Peanut Butter Meringue sets the bar high. Very few places make peanut butter pies like this, and Pie ‘n Burger does it right with just the right amount of peanut butter without making this slice feel too heavy. While the $4.50 price tag per slice feels steep, each slice more than holds its weight up.

3. Confetti Italian Ice‘s Parfait

Everyone loves sweets, but no one can deny that teenagers represent the worst demographic for controlling dessert habits. Teenagers usually have money to buy whatever they want (as long as they can afford it), and they have not grown up enough to make sensible spending decisions. As such, lots of places take advantage of that by introducing desirable foods priced just within reach that young customers will want to come back to, especially cold treats. Starbucks does this well with their blended drinks, as do some Italian Ice places. Take a stroll over to Confetti Italian Ice and you will see that they value quality in their treats instead of simply catering to as many customers as possible. Tightly nestled in a strip mall in Costa Mesa near the Orange County Fairgrounds, Confetti Italian Ice may resemble another popular Southern Californian place that does something similar, but Confetti has vastly unique flavors in their Parfait. Many places do something like this already: Italian Ice combined with soft-serve ice cream or custard. While the competition sticks to common flavors, Confetti aims for a more unique experience with flavors such as Cookie Batter, Chocolate Brownie, Cookie Dough, Birthday Cake, and more. You can get a Parfait for $3.75 for a small, $4.25 for a medium, or $5.25 for a large.

2. My Delight Cupcakery‘s Breakfast Cupcake

For over seven years now, My Delight Cupcakery has doled out some of the best cupcakes this side of the Mississippi. During their early years, I recall that they only had their mobile food truck to serve their scrumptious cupcakes out of. Since I discovered My Delight, they have since opened as storefront in a corner of Ontario close to Upland and Montclair. My Delight utilizes organic and all-natural ingredients to give their cupcakes the texture, moisture, and sweetness that makes a cupcake worth it. Prominently, their frosting does not taste overwhelmingly of butter, which many other cupcakeries seem to not pay any attention to. This allows their cupcakes to portray more of the true flavors of the cupcakes rather than the richness found in most other frostings elsewhere. My Delight rotates the flavors of their cupcakes monthly, but they will always carry their standard lineup of cupcakes, such as their popular Breakfast Cupcake: a light & fluffy buttermilk-based cupcake with bits of applewood-smoked bacon, iced with a light & buttery maple frosting, topped with more bacon, and drizzled with maple syrup. You can enjoy breakfast for dessert for $3.25 for a regular-size cupcake or $1.75 for a mini cupcake.

1. Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern‘s Old School

If you seek classic American cuisine with an artisanal touch, look no further than Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern (JFAT). Reinventing traditional restaurant faire, JFAT covers many grounds of cuisine familiar to many with their high-quality approach to cooking. Currently boasting four locations between Los Angeles County, Orange County, and San Diego County, and with a fifth location opening soon, JFAT takes what you know about traditional American restaurants and turns it up to eleven. Between brunch, lunch, dinner, and a full bar, any time of the day makes for a great time to stop on by JFAT and enjoy a bite or sip or more. Their beverage offering alone always stays current with the seasons, as they routinely rotate out their craft beer offerings as well as their fine wines. People also love the cocktails at JFAT, as the drinks here range from sweet to spicy, mild to bold, and more. On the food side, JFAT pays close attention to not only the quality, but the portions of their dishes, especially in their desserts such as the Old School. In a large glass goblet, JFAT combines warm chocolate chip cookies, vanilla bean ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, and roasted peanuts. This massive dessert that can feed at least two people costs only $12. Of course, if you have a huge sweet tooth like I do, you will want this entire bowl of indulgence to yourself. The classics never go out of style at JFAT, so check them out soon and get your dessert on.

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Despite the turn of the season, Southern California’s heat wave rages on. Temperatures had hit record highs in the past few weeks, causing many people to desire something cold to cool down. Of course, some people may not have a sweet tooth like I do, but you have to treat yourself occasionally. Sometimes, your body just craves it – when you feel hot, your body tells you to go find something cold to eat or drink. If you plan on powering through this heat wave, I now bring to you five cold treats in the Los Angeles area to get you through this hot fall season.

5. Top Round Roast Beef‘s Frozen Custard Milkshakes

Everyone loves ice cream, whether they will admit it or not. The creamy texture plus the sweet sensation brings comfort and joy to anyone munching through it. But have you heard of ice cream’s cousin that walks in ice cream’s shadow? Some places may have already heard of it, but frozen custard has risen as a popular choice for cold treats, a feat that Top Round Roast Beef has capitalized on. Ice cream contains a lot of air in it, which lends to its preservation of sitting in a freezer for a long time. On the other hand, frozen custard contains a greater ratio of eggs and milk compared to ice cream, giving the frozen custard a denser feel with less air. Since the folks at Top Round churn their frozen custard daily without ever freezing it for storage, it will never have ice crystals in it, lending to its smooth, velvety texture. This small diner in Mid-Wilshire near La Brea may have claimed fame with their signature roast beef, but actually their Frozen Custard Milkshakes keep the locals returning back. Every cold treat has a certain coldness factor to it, and boy can this milkshake really cool you down on a hot day. These milkshakes come in four flavors: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and pistachio. For the adventurous, I highly suggest the pistachio for a one-of-a-kind treat rarely found elsewhere. But honestly, you cannot go wrong with any flavor, even plain vanilla (pictured above). At just $5 a cup, you get more than your money’s worth here.

4. Shave It‘s Hawaii 5-Oh

Have you ever heard of the classic song (These Are A Few Of) My Favorite Things? This song lists a handful of things, tangible or not, that fill a person with joy despite bad times. Though the singer lists individual things in the song, why not skip the hassle and combine some of those things? Whenever I can have one of my favorite things, I eagerly look forward to it. Whenever I can have more than one of my favorite things at the same time, my heart fills with glee. Enter Shave It, the brilliant business capturing the hearts of many with their approach to combining two individual items together to form something even better. As their name suggests, Shave It does the shave ice thing, and yes – pronunciation makes a huge difference. Shaved ice with a D typically refers to ground ice, like that of a snow cone. Shave ice without the D refers to how native Hawaiians see it – finely sliced ice so smooth that it feels like ice cream. Upon hearing that comparison, the folks behind Shave It decided to mash the two up by serving up cups of shave ice WITH ice cream – a match made in heaven I tell you! The list of combinations stretches all the way around their store, since any customer can mix and match ice cream and shave ice flavors, such as with the Hawaii 5-Oh. This homage to the television show of the same name contains what the name would suggest – coconut ice cream with Hawaiian Punch shave ice. The fruitiness of the shave ice combined with the creaminess of the ice cream almost gives it a strawberry milk effect, something that any kid can enjoy. For less than $5, you too can experience the childhood joys of combining two of your favorite things into one cup.

3. Fluff Ice‘s Coffee Cake

Recently, a new study discovered that a person’s genes strongly determine how that person’s body reacts to coffee. Common perceptions make us believe that drinking coffee nearly daily helps to build a tolerance to coffee. While this may hold validity in those with the genes to build such a tolerance, those without this set of genes may approach coffee differently. A few individuals may forever fully absorb all coffee for life, while others may never react to coffee at all. The abundance of coffee shops today all gauge the strength of coffee based on what the customer desires. More often than not, customers simply seek the flavor of coffee, not the energy boost that it provides, which Fluff Ice satisfies quite well. One of Los Angeles’ original shaved snow shops, Fluff Ice has generated quite a Southern California empire as of this upcoming weekend. From storefronts to food trucks, Fluff Ice has a mission to deliver authentic shaved snow to the people of Southern California and, sometime in the near future, the rest of the world. The truck’s menu generally carries a condensed version of what the stores offer; after all, they primarily use the truck as means to promote the stores rather than make pure profit from mobile sales. If you visit one of their stores, you may discover their Coffee Cake combination of coffee shaved snow, crushed graham crackers, crushed Oreos (pictured without it above), and choice of condensed milk or chocolate syrup. If you know you cannot consume caffeine, worry not, as a $4 medium serving of this contains less than five grams of caffeine, indicating that Fluff Ice utilizes decaf coffee for the flavor base. After all, the sugar already gives kids their sugar rush, so why add fuel to the fire?

2. Tierra Mia Coffee‘s Mexican Chocolate Frappe

People all over the world love their coffee. Many people consume coffee for its caffeine content. Many others consume coffee for its flavor. Some drink coffee as means of socializing. Some drink coffee just to keep occupied. Regardless of why any sole individual would consume coffee, we can now find a coffee shop in almost any given square mile in any urban area. Many joke that you can cross the street from a Starbucks only to find another Starbucks, but honestly this only happens in Seattle, home of the first Starbucks. Here in Los Angeles, many other brands exist that occupy many street corners, such as Tierra Mia Coffee. Imagine a Southern California version of Starbucks with Southwestern influences, and you have Tierra Mia. Anyone walking into a Tierra Mia shop for the first time with no prior knowledge of the business would assume a Mexican version of Starbucks, which holds absolutely no truth to the matter. Tierra Mia gains their unique advantage by giving back to local communities and providing a space for starving artists to display their work. That aside, their menu contains many foods & beverage flavors unique to them. While you may have familiarity with a Frappuccino, Tierra Mia also serves their own lineup of Frappes, such as their Mexican Chocolate Frappe. If you love chocolate milkshakes, then you will love this blended beverage that tastes like a dark chocolate smoothie with hints of coffee. You gain more of a chocolate taste from this than the coffee in it, and the use of Mexican chocolate gives this beverage a bolder, richer chocolate flavor. The Mexican chocolate also lends to the antioxidant content in this blended beverage, so not only can you satisfy your sweet tooth and cool yourself down for under $5, but you can slightly improve your health by consuming some polyphenols.

1. The Iron Press‘ Cap’n Crunch Berries & Milk Waffle

How many cereal mascots can you name? As a child, television and supermarkets exposed us to countless cartoon characters that represented cereal brands. From Toucan Sam to Count Chocula to Flintstones to Snap/Crackle/Pop to Tony the Tiger to the Trix Rabbit, big companies used whatever cute characters they could muster in order to entice kids into eating their cereal. On a side note, no female cereal mascots exist – you only have male mascots for cereal. Anyways, no other mascot resonates within the memory more than Cap’n Crunch. Oh yes, this creepy midget sailor appears on everyone’s minds when they think about cereal because of the way he stares into your soul through your eyes. Those hollow eyes can capture any soul with a gesture as simple as eye contact, a fact that the people at The Iron Press can testify to. The Cap’n loves more than just cereal – he loves waffles, he loves beer, and swiggity swooty, he loves pirate booty. Nothing grabs tail better than waffles with the open seas and a pint of Windansea Wheat in hand, and the Cap’n sure loves to dip his hands wherever he can fit them, such as in the Cap’n Crunch Berries & Milk Waffle. The waffle contains actual Crunch Berries cereal in it, which gets further dusted with crushed Crunch Berries, then drizzled with a milk glaze, followed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Have you followed a diet? The Cap’n cares not about said diets. Bring forth your empty gut and devour this mound of sugar and carbs for $7, lest you fear the inevitable belly swell. So grab yourself a nice pint of wheat ale and raise it in the air. Knock them up, slap them down, and never want to care. After that, order another one for me. Down it quick, and allow your inhibitions to roam free!