Sometimes visitors and new arrivals to L.A. buy into the myth that residents eat only steamed vegetables. Anyone who's been here longer than two days knows what a vicious lie that is, of course.
A large part of why we're a city of voracious eaters is that we can get any kind of food we desire within county lines. And recently Taiwanese desserts have been making a particular splash around town. There are a number of Taiwanese dessert shops opening — some of them imports from Asia (BlackBall, Meet Fresh) — but credit must be given to Oh My Pan, a homegrown bakery that started in San Gabriel and expanded to a second location in Pasadena.
The display cases at Oh My Pan are full of big cakes, and single slices too, all light and fluffy and in flavors from mango to vanilla. And of course green tea. East Asian desserts are known for those qualities, where the cakes seem, between the airy batter and the whipped cream frosting, as if they could be used as trampolines if they weren't also so beautifully decorated and topped with a surely expensive amount of fresh fruit.
But it's worth noting that there's a ton of butter in some of these treats, too. Behold, in particular, brick toast.
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Look at that thing. It's French toast gone completely haywire. You can't order it to go, presumably because it would dissolve into butter dough by the time you got home, but eaten at the store, it's heavenly. The pictured version is called strawberry volcano toast, and it's made with fresh strawberries and house-made strawberry sauce, vanilla sauce, chantilly creme and vanilla ice cream. There's also red bean and green tea with custard, marshmallow honey and chocolate banana. With any version, each piece of toast tastes individually double-dipped in butter.
The power move is to go in for a brick toast (no appetite shaming here, but you'll probably want to go with a grub buddy) and pick up some treats on the way out. Maybe a "tropical paradise" mousse or a matcha tiramisu. It's what a real Angeleno would do.
801 E. Valley Blvd., San Gabriel. (626) 307-7719, ohmypan.com.