Category Archives: Sierra Madre

The 10 Best Things I Consumed in 2014

The Best of 2014
2014 was a rough year. Escalated conflict in the Middle East, missing jetliners, and an Ebola outbreak; the hits just kept on coming. So it’s not surprising that my annual list this year of the ten best things I consumed and wrote about in the past year include mostly comfort foods. Let’s hope for greener pastures in 2015. In the meantime, here are some things to help you feel a little better:

Aussie Pie Tiger Stack
10. Tiger Stack with Chicken and Tarragon Pie from Aussie Pie Kitchen. Foodwise, there are few things in this world more comforting than meat pies. Stack a chicken tarragon one on a mound of garlic mashed potatoes and top it with bacon-laced mushy minty peas and a ladleful of thyme gravy, and let the emotional healing begin!

Fresh Peach Stuffed Donut from The Donut Man
9. Fresh Peach Stuffed Donut from The Donut Man. This year I went in search of the best donut shops in LA. The research, as you can imagine, was gruelling. The winner was The Donut Man, a shack located on historic Route 66 in Glendora, whose specialty is an amazing seasonal donut stuffed with either fresh strawberries or peaches.

Mother Moo Creamery
8. Classic Butterscotch Ice Cream with Butterscotch Sauce from Mother Moo Creamery. This year I also set out to find the best artisan ice cream shops in LA. My top pick was Mother Moo Creamery in Sierra Madre. After sampling all of their flavors (my dedication to this blog knows no bounds!), my favorite was an insanely good Butterscotch Ice Cream, which was made even better when topped with a rich housemade butterscotch topping.

Brioche Toast, Cranberry Bourbon Jam and Nut Butter
7. Brioche Toast, Cranberry Bourbon Jam and Nut Butter from Sqirl. Things that are simple but perfectly executed can often be magical. Case in point: the brioche toast with housemade jam and nut butter at hipster breakfast haven Sqirl is pure perfection.

6. Pancotto from The Factory Kitchen. Everything I’ve eaten at The Factory Kitchen has been so good, it’s hard to single out just one dish for this list. But if I had to pick one it would be this unusual homage to a peasant bread soup with duck egg, red potato vellutata, sauteed greeens, semolina bread crostone and speck.

BBQ Spot Prawns
5. BBQ Spot Prawns from Pot. LA superstar chef Roy Choi’s restaurants in the new Line Hotel in K-town are probably the hippest and most happening eateries in the city right now. My favorite dish there: these crispy BBQ Spot Prawns which I got to pick out myself before they were grilled and served on a bed of sizzling onions.

Uni Pasta
4. Uni Pasta from EMC Seafood. Creamy uni pasta is one of those go-to dishes that I always order when I see it on a menu. The version at EMC Seafood is one of the best I’ve ever had.

Peanut Butter Ganache, Roasted Grape Ice Cream, Griddled Pound Cake and Chocolate Feuilletine
3. Peanut Butter Ganache, Roasted Grape Ice Cream, Griddled Pound Cake and Chocolate Feuilletine from Saint Martha. If you read this blog regularly, you know how obsessed I am with peanut butter. Saint Martha, one of my favorite new restaurants, has one of the best peanut butter desserts ever.

Salt and Vinegar Popcorn
2. Salt and Vinegar Popcorn from The Church Key. This specially seasoned popcorn is so addictive, it should be regulated by the Federal government.

Kazu Nori
1. Crab Hand Roll from KazuNori. I am completely obsessed with this hand roll. I refer to it as “The Precious.” It is my favorite thing that I consumed and wrote about this year.


Filed under Downtown, Glendora, Koreatown, Santa Monica, Sierra Madre, West Hollywood

11 Best Artisan Ice Cream Shops in LA

Neveux Artisan Creamery
I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream . . . unless you’re from LA, where consuming ice cream is a guilty pleasure that you’re discreet about.

But when Angelenos are looking to quietly indulge in creamy frozen bliss, there are thankfully a lot of great choices. The latest craze is artisan ice cream shops that produce small batches of gourmet product with a high cream content, top notch ingredients, and flavors that are often exotic and unusual.

Here are my eleven favorite ice cream joints in the city (gelaterias excluded):

Butterscotch Ice Cream and Butterscotch Sauce from Mother Moo Creamery

Butterscotch Ice Cream and Butterscotch Sauce from Mother Moo Creamery

1. Mother Moo Creamery (17 Kersting Ct in Sierra Madre) Located in the quaint little village of Sierra Madre, just east of Pasadena, this is my new favorite ice cream place in the city. There are so many amazing flavors here, it’s a challenge to choose just one or two. Recommended flavors: Classic Butterscotch, Salty Chocolate and Brownie.

McConnell's Ice Cream

McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams

2. McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams (317 S Broadway, Los Angeles in Downtown). This famous Santa Barbara ice cream shop just opened a branch here in the newly gentrified Grand Central Market. It’s awesome. Recommended flavors: Churros Con Leche, Double Peanut Butter Chip, Turkish Coffee, Summer Fruit Cobbler. UPDATE: A second LA location is now open in Studio City at 12073 Ventura Place

Salted Caramel Ice Cream from Sweet Rose Creamery

Salted Caramel Ice Cream from Sweet Rose Creamery

3. Sweet Rose Creamery (225 26th St #51, Santa Monica in the Brentwood Country Mart, 826 Pico Blvd in Santa Monica, and 7565 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles in Mid-City). Everything about Sweet Rose is outstanding and the choices of ice creams and toppings are amazing and extensive. Recommended Flavors: Salted Caramel, Fresh Mint with Homemade Chocolate Chips, Summer Corn.

Peddler's Creamery

Peddler’s Creamery

4. Peddler’s Creamery (458 S. Main St, Los Angeles in Downtown) Hipsters love ice cream too, especially at this cool looking shop which serves small batches of bicycle-churned ice cream made with organic, fair-trade, locally sourced ingredients. A percentage of their profits go to social and environmental causes. Recommended Flavors: Chocolate Cacao, Pancake Batter, Cinnamon.

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream from Mashti Malone's

5. Mashti Malone’s (1525 N. La Brea Ave, Los Angeles in Hollywood) This unique shop specializes in Persian-style ice creams and sorbets made with ingredients like Rosewater and Saffron. But don’t overlook their American flavors like Peanut Butter, which are also phenomenal. Recommended Flavors: Rosewater Saffron with Pistachios, Ginger Rosewater, Peanut Butter

Three Twins Ice Cream

Three Twins Ice Cream

6. Three Twins Ice Cream (2726 Main St in Santa Monica) This Northern California import, which opened only a few months ago, has wickedly good organic ice cream. I love that a “single” is actually two flavors! Recommended flavors: Lemon Cookie, Bittersweet Chocolate and Dad’s Cardamom.

Blueberry Pie Ice Cream from Quenelle

Blueberry Pie Ice Cream from Quenelle

7. Quenelle (2214 W Magnolia Blvd in Burbank) This cute little shop opened just last year on a hip and funky stretch of Magnolia Boulevard in the Valley. Their Blueberry Pie flavor (pieces of Blueberry pie in creamy vanilla ice cream) is pretty much mandatory when ordering. Other recommended flavors: Vanilla Mascarpone, Strawberry Shortcake, Miso.

Carmela Ice Cream

Carmela Ice Cream

8. Carmela Ice Cream (2495 E Washington Blvd in Pasadena and 7920 W. Third Street, Los Angeles in Mid-City) I discovered this little gem several years ago at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market. Even though they have brick and mortar locations now, they still sell their amazing ice cream at certain farmer’s markets around town and purchase many of their ingredients from other farmer’s market vendors. Recommended flavors: Salted Caramel, Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean, Lavender Honey and Rosemary Toasted Pine Nut

Fosselman's Ice Cream

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Ice Cream from Fosselman’s Ice Cream

9. Fosselman’s Ice Cream Company (1824 W Main St in Alhambra) This San Gabriel Valley landmark is over 91 years old and is still run by the same family. If you don’t want to drive all the way to Alhambra, you can always find a few of their super tasty flavors at Brian’s Shaved Ice in the Valley and on Sawtelle in Little Osaka. Recommended flavors: Chocolate Dipped Strawberry, Butter Pecan, Lemon Custard, Toasted Almond.

Scoops Westside

Scoops Westside

10. Scoops (712 N. Heliotrope Dr, Los Angeles in East Hollywood and 3400 Overland Ave, Los Angeles in Palms) One of the first Artisan Ice Cream places in the city, Scoops is constantly offering new and exotic flavors. For best selection, get there early in the day because flavors often run out. Recommended flavors: Brown Bread, Red Velvet Toffee, Horchata.

Neveux Artisan Creamery & Espresso Bar

Neveux Artisan Creamery & Espresso Bar

11. Neveux Artisan Ice Creamery & Espresso Bar (7407 ½ Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles in West Hollywood) The service is not great here, but the ice cream is. It’s perfect for capping off an afternoon of vintage clothing and vinyl record shopping on Melrose. Recommend flavors: Roasted Banana and Caliente Cinnamon Chocolate.

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Fosselman's Ice Cream Company on Urbanspoon
McConnell's Ice Cream on Urbanspoon
Neveux Artisan Creamery & Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon
Mashti Malone's on Urbanspoon
Quenelle on Urbanspoon
Mother Moo Creamery on Urbanspoon
Carmela Ice Cream on Urbanspoon
Carmela Ice Cream on Urbanspoon
Scoops on Urbanspoon
Scoops Westside on Urbanspoon
Scoops on Urbanspoon
Sweet Rose Creamery on Urbanspoon
Sweet Rose Creamery on Urbanspoon
Sweet Rose Creamery on Urbanspoon


Filed under Alhambra, Brentwood, Burbank, Downtown, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Fairfax, Hollywood, Mid-City, Palms, Pasadena, Sierra Madre, West Hollywood, West LA