When I dine with other people, I like to let them choose where we go. You never know when your friend is going to pull out a culinary gem from their back pocket…it also doesn’t hurt that I’m incredibly indecisive and having them decide spares me of the anxiety attack that accompanies choosing.
Last week, my friend and I were trying to plan our Friday night outing. She picked the dinner spot and suggested a dessert place in LA. She texted me and asked if I like bread pudding. I automatically thought: YES (my pumpkin/chocolate chip bread pudding is pretty killer)! As soon as I responded, I wanted to take it back. The bread pudding I’ve been exposed to (if not made by my own hand) usually involves raisins. Why do all “classic” desserts call for raisins? Were their designers merely trying to rid their pantries of these shriveled monsters?
Anyways, before I could go into my long(er) rant about raisins, my friend cut me off and said, “Nah girl, I’m not talking about old people bread pudding.” Her suggested dessert location, B Sweet, was later described as “BOMBBBB.” You know it’s serious when your friend uses all caps.
Friday night rolled around and we made our way to the Sawtelle neighborhood on the other side of the 405. Traffic was non-existent at 10 pm. We braced ourselves for the headache known as LA parking but we were pleasantly surprised when we were able to snag a prime spot with no effort and without having to go through any of the stages of LA-parking grief. As we made our way to the dessert bar, my friend warned the group: It’s going to be crowded. However, when we walked through the welcoming glass door, below a beautifully lit sign, we were the only ones in the place. I thought this ominous at first but my fear quickly turned to thanksgiving when we approached the “register” (aka iPad) and asked for samples. The woman helping us was very kind and patient even as we tried multiple flavors (Glazed Donut, Cookies and Cream, and Birthday Cake) while the non-existent line behind us quickly escalated to overflowing out the door.
The samples themselves were thoughtful and delicious. Each morsel, handed over in a sample cup, was dressed with its corresponding sauce. They WANT you to have the whole experience in one bite. It’s rare to see such attention to detail, especially in such a busy place.
While my husband was falling fast for the glazed donut, we ultimately decided on sharing the Birthday Cake flavor topped with a scoop of ice cream. We were presented with two sizes: “Being Good” and “Being Bad”. Now, in our defense, the empty “Being Good” container looked as if it held barely enough to satisfy a small child, so we opted for the “Being Bad”. Our eyes were the size of saucers when we were presented with our overflowing treat topped with confetti sprinkles…much larger than the empty container appeared. Oh yeah, we were definitely “Being Bad”.
The shop had become almost uncomfortably full between the time it took us to order and when we were handed the mountain of bread pudding goodness. Rather than stand at the adorable bar at the front of the shop (ideal for people-watchers), we opted to take a seat out front on the crate furniture, which kept in tune with the bits of charming industrial décor from the interior. It was here that we enjoyed the night air (still warm at 10:30 pm…thanks, SoCal) and our take out container of sweetness.
Sure, we were “Being Bad” in terms of size but it tasted oh-so-good! There was the perfect ratio of ice cream to bread pudding. The bread pudding wasn’t piping hot and it wasn’t cold and mushy. It was the perfect warmth with the perfect amount of moisture. It also didn’t sit heavy in our stomachs, surprisingly. It was dense, yet refreshing. We nearly finished the whole container. It was so good that I felt bad not being able to finish the last couple of bites, knowing I’d regret it later.
All in all, the bread pudding was delicious and definitely not reminiscent of “old people”, although there are flavors in-house for anyone of any age. The fun, new spin on this classic dessert fits in perfectly with the vibrant neighborhood in which it resides. Do yourself a favor and head over to B Sweet NOW (or maybe when traffic dies down a bit)!
What’s your favorite dessert spot?