So, I've been sorta keeping up with the mini-proliferation of cupcake places in the region. There are some of the big players I've missed, but I'll get to them eventually. Probably.
To provide context for the review, my take so far has been:
Sprinkles - way too sugary. I like sweet plenty, but these also have the disadvantage of cake that seems to me too tough. I disagree with the very well-informed Chica that these can't be split. At parties I've been to where these are served, that's my strategy (god forbid I just not have any!). I've tried a few flavors, none really stand out - my overall impression remains the sugariness.
Auntie Em's - red velvet. Way too big, and just not tasty enough to warrant the indulgance. Again toughish cake - is this a problem with red velvet in general, I wonder? Did I get a stale one? But far too big in any case.
Leda's - big praise for the white chocolate holding the cupcakes in the box. Very clever. Nice combo of flavors, and hurray for the mini-cupcakes, but what's with the oiliness? Not so nice after all.
Susiecakies - I really like the cake part - I had the lemon. Not tough, but tender and a little fluffy. I'm not crazy about the frosting - a little too light, could be more buttercream-like. But so far it's been my front-runner.
And for far back context Buttercup Bake Shop in mid-town Manhattan remains my formative standard - why can't I find frosting like this here? (I swear that is the ONLY nyc whining I will ever, ever do - who cares about pizza and bad Chinese food?).
So, I didn't know what to expect at Bluebird Cafe this afternoon. For a long time I haven't been able to try them because their days/hours were so limited, but happily they're now open on Saturdays.
I had the plain vanilla with pink frosting. I definitely like the cake best. It's even better than Susiecakes. Light, buttery, it's just right. The frosting's good too! Not quite as thick as I'd like and the frosting to cupcake ratio is a bit meager. But it's definitely the best cupcake I've had in LA so far.
I'll have to try the red velvet next to see if it's on the tough side like all the rest, but I have high hopes.
The Bluebird Bakery
8572 National Boulevard
Culver City, California 90232
310 841 0939 tel
310 841 0909 fax
(note they haven't updated their hours on the website, they are open on Saturdays!).