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10 Best Pecan Sticky Buns in Los Angeles

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Thu, Nov 1, 2012 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge Pecan Sticky Bun - RACHAEL NARINS
  • Rachael Narins
  • Pecan Sticky Bun
Pecan sticky buns are based on a German dish, then super-sized, amped up with more sweetener and topped -- or bottomed, if it's an upside-down version -- with a nut that's native to our shores. But what sets the truly American version apart from other nut-rolls though is that long baptism in the namesake sticky sugar-butter sauce. They can be made in a pan or on a sheet, covered in frosting or not, but they'll always be made with a yeasted dough, and sweet enough to make dessert pretty irrelevant.

In L.A. we found that the pecan sticky bun is almost always an even better choice than the cinnamon roll, if such a thing is possible. They might not always have actual pecans -- sometimes walnuts make an appearance, but they are always, as advertised, sticky and worth every bite. For the results of our exhaustive hunt for the best choices around town, turn the page.

click to enlarge Euro Pane Pecan Sticky Bun - RACHAEL NARINS
  • Rachael Narins
  • Euro Pane Pecan Sticky Bun
10. Euro Pane:

Everything at Euro Pane is beautiful, and the walnut -- yes, walnut -- sticky bun is no exception. Light and airy and built with a rich dough, it's redolent of almond extract, making the nut flavors come to the fore much more than the glaze. As with almost all of the sticky buns on our list, quantities are limited, so make sure to call ahead if you want to try one for yourself. 950 E. Colorado Blvd., 107 Pasadena; 626-577-1828.

click to enlarge Canter's Deli Pecan Sticky Bun - RACHAEL NARINS
  • Rachael Narins
  • Canter's Deli Pecan Sticky Bun
9. Canter's Deli:

Just how Canter's manages to make a pastry taste like candy, we can't say for sure, but they do. Maybe the maraschino cherry, perched in the center of the doughy swirl, is the key. It's unabashed toyland essence must have spilled over. You can saunter up to the counter for your fill of the least expensive version of this pastry we scoped out, or order one while sitting in a booth with a cup of coffee. Make sure to look up, too: The autumn leaf ceiling motif is almost a direct reflection of the pastry in hand. 419 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles; 323-651-2030.

click to enlarge Pecan Sticky Bun at Milo and Olive - EMILY HART ROTH
  • Emily Hart Roth
  • Pecan Sticky Bun at Milo and Olive
8. Milo and Olive:

At almost all times of day there is a short line at Milo and Olive, of people hoping for a hit of something to satisfy their sweet tooth. If one of them doesn't beat you to the pecan sticky bun, and they're fresh from the oven, make sure to grab one. On the small-side, it has a hearty exterior and tender interior due to the whole wheat dough, and a brown-sugar bourbon pecan glaze. While it isn't exactly sticky, it is heavy with nuts and has a glorious yeasty flavor. 2723 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; 310-453-6776.

Turn the page for picks 7 through 5...

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