Dear Mr. Gold:
I recently moved to L.A., and I’ve been searching for a good dessert spot. I’m not just looking for a bakery or coffee shop type of place. You may be familiar with the San Diego dessert restaurant/bar/café Extraordinary Desserts. I’m looking for something along those lines, a café that specializes in rich cakes and fruit teas and ambiance, that sort of thing. I know there have to be at least a few places like that up here, but I don’t know where to find them.
—Sarah, KoreatownDear Sarah:
There isn’t, I’m afraid, anyplace exactly like this in Los Angeles, at least since Boule dumped the pastry and went all chocolates. But there are a few really good variations. (The local pastry style, invented out of whole cloth by Nancy Silverton, is very rustic.) You may enjoy Wien Konditorei on Olympic in Koreatown, the most pastry-intensive of the many Korean coffeehouses. (My favorite Koreatown coffeehouse, Koffea, on Berendo at Sixth, has wonderful Korean fruit teas and infusions, but the pastries are pretty commercial.) Susina, on Beverly Boulevard near La Brea, is pretty in the belle époque fashion and has wonderful pastries. Jin, in Venice on Abbot Kinney, serves exquisite, Asian-tinged teas, chocolates and desserts. The best of the eat-in pastry shops in the rustic Los Angeles style are perhaps Clementine, near Century City, and EuroPane, in Pasadena. And there are always tearooms — I believe the fancy yet resolutely ungirly Scarlet Tea Room in Old Town Pasadena (www.scarlettearoom.com) might be just what you’re looking for.