Lette Macaron, Los Angeles, CA
Bijan Bakery, San Jose, CA
Snowflake Teahouse, Fremont, CA
A very popular hangout spot in this strip mall. Not surprised since it is strategically located near a brunch of spicy restaurants.
The texture of their snowflake could really be better. It is far from the creamy yet airy mouthfeel that I was hoping for. The flavors was there but it was just a bit icy.
Service is really slow. If you find yourself not getting enough attention just flag down any of the server. I could only imagine what a madhouse it would be when summer days are here.
Monique’s Chocolate, Palo Alto, CA
Good things come in a Chinese takeout box.
Lappert’s Ice Cream, Sausalito, CA
Sausalito is a touristy town and Lappert is a popular spot among tourists and local visitors. Who would resist a sweet treat after a long day on your feet? Even in colder winter days there is still a crowd. You can imagine how busy it gets on hotter days.
Ice cream at Lappert came in many flavors. Some traditional, some a little more tropical but nothing really outrageous or strange. Lines don’t really mean anything here. Just step up to the counter whenever you are ready.
Texture of the ice cream was thick and rich. It wasn’t out of the world amazing but really hit the spot.
Porto Bakery, Downey, CA
Porto is LA’s staple bakery. The line is always long and there is a good reason for that. All of their baked good are well made and super affordable. It is not unusual to see people came out of the store carrying boxes of goodies. Don’t be discouraged though, the lines move very quickly and you should be out the door in 15 minutes or less if you are just picking up pastries.
If this is your first visit and you are completely overwhelmed by their vast pastry selection, try the followings - potato balls, cheese rolls, guava strudels (or rolls).
Casa del Suizo, Tena, Ecuador
Helados de Paila Pomasqui, Quito, Ecuador
Sophie’s Crepe, Japantown, San Francisco, CA
Bacchanal Buffet at Ceasar’s Palace, Las Vegas, NV
I went to the ‘use to be my favorite’ Wicked Spoon buffet a few months ago in Vegas and I wasn’t too thrilled. The food wasn’t bad but no where near the quality in the earlier days before it got super popular. Sadly, the food does not justify the long wait anymore.
This time around I went to the Bacchanal instead and I was pleasantly surprised. Looks like Caesar’s Palace really beefed up their game in the buffet competition. It isn’t hard to see that they ‘borrowed ’ a lot of ideas from the popular Wicked Spoon. Most of the food is individually portioned and even give you these cute little rubber grip to hold the hot plates. Their raw seafood bar is the most impressive of all (among Ballagio, Wynn and Wicked Spoon). They exceeded in both variety and quality. It is not often you can find some decent crawfish cooked in Cajun seasonings. Raw oysters were fresh and sweet.
Bacchanal buffet have a lot to offer. You can find simple American fare, the usual meat craving station, as well as Mediterranean, Asian, Italian and whole bunch of International cuisine. Of course, they have a sinfully beautiful dessert station as well.
I enjoyed my meal. I think the quality is better than the Wicked Spoon and Wynn. The variety is better than the all time favorite Ballagio. If they could keep up with the quality, I have little reason to visit other buffet spots.
Mandarin Oriental Tea Lounge, Las Vegas, NV
The tea service here does not disappoint. The savory tea sandwiches were really delicious. The sweet pastries, scones, homemade jams were all wonderful. The tea, of course, was well prepared and of good quality.
The tea lounge ambiance is modern and relaxed. You sit on sofa and tea was served on short coffee tables. I do wish the tables were a bit bigger. With all those oversize teapots, there were barely enough room to place our plates and utensils. It was nice they have separate racks for the tea pastries.
What don’t I like about the tea lounge? Perhaps sitting arrangement could be more ergonomic. There weren’t a lot of room to extend my legs unless I sit really far from the table. I also wish the tea is brewed table side rather than brought out pre-made.
Brix Wine Pairing Chocolate, Rutherford, CA