Valentine's Day dessert excursion. At eight o'clock, my friends and I went in search for dessert. Most restaurants had prix fixes. We stopped by Michel Richard (310 S Robertson Blvd, West Hollywood, 310-275-5707). They were pretty much cleaned out. They closed at 9pm. We arrived around 8:40pm. They only had chocolate desserts, a peach tart, and a lemon merangue dessert. Tomorrow, the day after V-day, at Michel Richard should be amazing. Most of the desserts will all be fresh!!!!! One of the reasons why I don't like Michel Richard is because not enough people frequent it. It seems as though their supply is not refreshed daily.
Sweet Lady Jane seems to suffer from this too.
I like Boule because they seem to run out of their supply daily and make it fresh daily. Jin patisserie seems to work this way too. Meaning, at the end of the day, the selection is quite sparse. So, go early, if you prefer a large selection.
One of my friends loves cheescake. According to russkar's previous posts,jm rosens, is the source for amazing ny style cheesecake. I called Pastina in westwood, but it seemed like they didn't carry jm rosen's plain cheesecake. Maybe they needed to re-stock.
So we went to "Grill on the Alley" in Beverly Hills. And we were not disappointed. They actually own a bunch of restaurants.
9560 Dayton Way
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
m-th open until 11pm
We ordered four desserts. The first three were the ny style plain cheesecake, the strawberry shortcake, and the double chocolate layer cake. The combination was amazing.
The ny style cheesecake was incredible - dense and so so smooth with a hint of lemon. As recommended by the waitress, no need for hot fudge or strawberry sauce. The cheescake stands on its own. The crust is thin and covers it just right. This morning, my south carolina co-worker made an incredible graham-cracker crust cheesecake with cherry on top and chocolate shavings. His cheescake was yummy especially with the crust. But this ny cheesecake needed no crust. Different type of cheesecake.
Later on, we'd like to try Harriet's Cheesecakes in Inglewood - to taste the difference.
The strawberry shortcake was a surprise. One of my friends will be dreaming about this dessert. I just thought it was ok. This dessert had a firm crusty shortcake in the center with fresh cream and then smoothered with sliced strawberries with a nice red gooey sauce. The sauce was sweet but not sickly or subtle, just enough to complement the shortcake and cream. Not sure if they made the dessert or had someone else make it.
The double chocolate layer cake was good. Made by JM Rosen too. The dark chocolate cake had three layers with chocolate icing and chips on the sides. There was a scoop of fresh whipped cream to go with the cake. The cake was solid, not dense and not airy, but moist. The icing was sweet, but not too sweet. It had a nice smooth texture. The cream went well to balance the sweet chocolate. Not the best chocolate cake ever, but a good chocolate cake that is hard to find.
All of these desserts are very basic, yet incredibly delicious. My HK foodie friend who had three desserts from Spago just a month ago, preferred these desserts, especially the cheescake and shortcake.
Now, as a kicker, since we were eating at the bar - the restaurant was packed with v-day dinner couples - the bartender recommended the hot fudge brownie with ice cream. What a great recommendation!
The brownie was too sweet for my taste, but the combination of ice cream, hot fudge, brownie, and fresh strawberries was good. The brownie was your typical flaky chewy dense sweet chocolate brownie. The fudge was chocolaty and gooey, but not like the bittersweet hot fudge chocolate sauce at Twoheys in Alhambra. What made the dessert so good, was the incredible smooth vanilla ice cream. One of the best vanillas that I've every tasted. It's different from the other vanilla ice creams that I've had. But, I didn't have enough of it by itself to taste the differences.
So, some history-gossip, according to the manager?
The cheesecake recipe supposedly is by "Grill on the Alley" and JM Rosen kinda stole it from them. They've had this cheesecake for 18 years. The website says that the restaurant opened in 1984. Anyways, incredible cheesecake and nice chocolate cake.
The ice cream is from Pierre, a crazy french guy, in West Hollywood. He sometimes makes a vanilla fudge flavor. But, he only distributes to restaurants - not sure how many. I don't think all the "grill on the alley" restaurants carry his ice cream. And the quantity is so limited, I'm actually not sure if the BH restaurant always stocks his ice cream.
If I can find more info on Pierre and get a chowhound ice cream tour....
The restaurant has more desserts, so we may try them later on. Before we left, I noticed a table of four with the ny cheesecake, strawberry shortcake, and double chocolate layer cake combo; so it looked like a typical dessert combo.