The 10 Best Cheesecakes in Los Angeles

Proof Bakery's fromage blanc cheesecake
Proof Bakery's fromage blanc cheesecake
Joshua Lurie

Cheesecake can be crafted from base ingredients such as ricotta, goat cheese or cream cheese, bolstered with fruit or nuts, anchored by a graham cracker crust and built to the sky. Of course, it can have none of those things, too. And while the dessert's mellow sweetness and creamy richness is a beautiful union that's hard to screw up, not all cheesecakes are created equal.

Here are our 10 favorite cheesecakes in Los Angeles, in alphabetical order.

The Arthur J's pumpkin cheesecake with poached pears
The Arthur J's pumpkin cheesecake with poached pears
Joshua Lurie

The Arthur J

Pastry chef Uyen Nguyen — previously the co-owner and resident St. Honoré crafter at the former Sunset Strip French restaurant Gorge — started working for David LeFevre and crew in late 2015. She’s shown considerable range at The Arthur J steakhouse by implementing desserts such as her seasonal cheesecake. Leading up to the holidays, she served pumpkin cheesecake with poached pears and a vanilla sage ice cream cap, but the most recent version is a vanilla bean cheesecake with a crust made from graham cracker crumbs, fennel seed and pine nuts, topped with key lime curd. 903 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach; (310) 878-9620, thearthurj.com.

Canelé's Buena Chica cheesecake
Canelé's Buena Chica cheesecake
Fiona Mackay

Canelé

Canelé chef Corina Weibel and front-of-house business partner Jane Choi turn out plenty of crave-able dishes at their Mediterranean-inspired Atwater Village restaurant, and chief among them is their Buena Chica cheesecake ($9). Weibel’s neighbor supplied the recipe, which stars cream cheese, vanilla, sugar and eggs. A buttery graham cracker crust helps support the cake and its tangy sour cream topping. 3219 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village; (323) 666-7133, canele.la.

Cassell's mascarpone cheesecake with a layer of house-made raspberry jamEXPAND
Cassell's mascarpone cheesecake with a layer of house-made raspberry jam
Joshua Lurie

Cassell’s

Christian Page spearheaded this revival of an all-American diner in Koreatown, and his wife, Elia Page, an accomplished chef in her own right, is in charge of the pastry program. In the rotating case by the entrance, you’ll typically find whole cheesecakes that yield sizable slices ($6). She’s currently baking cheesecakes with a burnished top, rich mascarpone filling and a layer of house-made raspberry jam spread against the dense crust. 3600 W. Sixth St., Koreatown; (213) 387-5502, cassellshamburgers.com.

Grimaldi's classic New York–stye cheesecakeEXPAND
Grimaldi's classic New York–stye cheesecake
Joshua Lurie

Grimaldi’s

Brooklyn-born pizza chain Grimaldi’s expanded to El Segundo in 2014, and the indoor-outdoor restaurant with red-and-white–checked tablecloths and wine bottle chandeliers is considerably larger than the original location. It serves big slabs of cheesecake ($5 each), with classic New York–style cheesecake available year-round. You’ll also find Oreo cookie cheesecake and seasonal selections such as caramel-apple cheesecake made with rich caramel, tart green apple and a hint of cinnamon. 2121 Rosecrans Ave., El Segundo; (310) 648-7503, grimaldispizzeria.com.

Harriet's sweet potato cheesecake
Harriet's sweet potato cheesecake
Joshua Lurie

Harriet’s Cheesecakes Unlimited

Harriet Parks first opened her tiny Inglewood cheesecake shop in 1986. Daughter Robin now helps to run the bakery in the Centinela Center strip mall; it features a marble counter, mottled aqua walls and blackboard menus. Lore has it that Harriet's sister found a cheesecake recipe in the paper and challenged Harriet to do better. Thirty years later, Harriet's Cheesecakes Unlimited is selling 8-inch cheesecakes for $25.50 and slices for $6.50. During our visit, the cheesecake variations included praline, banana pudding and cookies 'n' cream. The sweet potato cheesecake is justifiably popular; a layer of sweet potato incorporates boiled sweet potato puree and secret spices, and it's finished with a sour cream top and pecans sautéed with butter and tossed with sugar. 1515 Centinela Ave., Inglewood; (310) 419-2259.


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