Friday, September 21, 2007


There's a new Crumb in town and this bakery means business!

Opening first in New York and the Hamptons with ample praise, I was hoping this bake shop wouldn't disappoint me as so many "trendy cupcake boutiques," have lately. Located mere blocks from the "almighty," albeit overrated Sprinkles, I figured this gutsy little bakery must really be packing some fabulous frosting ... for the most part ... I was right!

They offer tons of extra-large, “fun-tastic”, candy coated cupcakes as well a large selection of frilly frosting cakes. The ladies purse cake looked very NYC with black and white butter cream frosting. Crumbs is not your modern/chic, dainty cupcake bakery. They are not afraid to pile on the frosting, top it with m&m's and bake-off large and in charge brownies.

My friend and I ordered 4 big cupcakes to take home. Like sprinkles, there's not a lot of standing room inside ... no where to sit. The "Artie Lang" (of the Howard Stern Show) is vanilla sponge cake filled with chocolate butter cream, covered in vanilla cream cheese frosting and topped with chocolate fondant icing with white and chocolate sprinkles on the sides! WOW! A lot going on, but this was the best cupcake we ordered! FINALLY, A CUPCAKE WITH MOIST, BUTTERY VANILLA CAKE AND EXCELLENT FROSTING! Leave it to New York to know what a truly yummy cupcake should be!

My next favorite was the Caramel Apple cupcake. Somewhat moist vanilla brown sugar cake with apples baked right in the batter. The frosting tasted like cream cheese vanilla butter cream swirled drizzled with caramel.

My friend got the Candy cupcake; Sweet vanilla cake frosted with a heavy dose of Crumbs signature vanilla butter cream and smothered in multi-colored m&m’s™. This was just too sweet for my taste but the cake part was super moist and buttery!

OK ... now for the bad news ... their Red Velvet, which I was told is a best seller, not great; not even good. The cream cheese frosting that is what makes Red Velvet so addicting, tasted like overly sweet vanilla butter cream and the red velvet cake, was not red nor velvety but brown and dry dry dry. Oh well … you can't win them all. They have cookies too and as a good food blogger, I had to taste one. Blah ... chocolate chip with cinnamon, it was stale for one and the flavor wasn't terrible but I won't return for the cookies ... only the cupcakes, superior to all other LA cupcakeries, besides Leda's Bakeshop which is top in my foodie opinion. Oh, Crumbs also has coffee and is cheaper than it's near by competitors.

: If you CRAVE down home, BUTTERY, lots of THICK CREAMY frosting baked goods, Crumbs is for you.
If you prefer Sprinkles ... you're buying them for a pretty gift, not sweet self consumption.

9465 S. Santa Monica Blvd
Open 8a.m. weekdays & 9a.m. weekends

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Ingrid's Cafe ~ Beverly Hills ~ 9

After an all too early 7am run yesterday, I decided to treat myself to breakfast. Tucked away on Little Santa Monica, right across the street from the Peninsula Hotel, I saw Ingrid's Cafe ... from the minute I stepped inside I was smiling. The opulent European decor transports you to somewhere far away from the hustle that is LA. Rich tapestry frames the windows, a glamorous crystal chandelier hangs from the vaulted ceiling and yet there is nothing posh or overly formal about this place. In fact, a feeling of quiet comfort prevails. Dean Martin music wafts down from the terraced, second floor balcony calming the nerves and letting the mind focus on the fabulous choices of fresh food.

My cafe au lait, which arrived in a large, elegant coffee mug, was hot, creamy, and smooth with the perfect amount if foam on top. Their attention to detail was refreshing. A tiny ceramic spoon rest accompanied the coffee. A small crystal pot of fresh apricot preserve with a single dried apricot floating in the sweet syrup was brought over for my toast. Sometimes it's those extra special little things that make a meal memorable.

I ordered the scrambled eggs with goat cheese, baguette and fresh fruit. Due to the petite prices, I was expecting a petite breakfast; wrong. My eggs were fluffy and wonderful. There were six slices of soft white and brown baguette bread surrounding the plate. Plump blackberries, juicy watermelon, and sweet cantaloupe finished off the dish perfectly.

Ingrid was there, so I asked her to suggest a favorite pastry. Too full from breakfast, I took my pear gallete to go. When I finally did indulge, the crust was tender, sweet, and buttery, with just the right amount of salt. The soft baked pears were heavenly without competing with the perfectly prepared pastry dough. My bill, in Beverly Hills, at a delectable french cafe ... came to under $12.00! I am Ingrid's newest regular, that's for certain.

They also offer a very elegant high tea from 3pm-5pm. Call an hour before so they can set up a table for your party.
Happy Hour Sunset Wine, Cheese & Pate is held from 5pm to 7pm.

Ingrid's Cafe
9861 S. Santa Monica Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212