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Sugar Rush

Where to Eat Sweets in Beverly Hills
  • 'Lette Macarons

    Macarons at ‘Lette Macarons; photos courtesy of Tina Rupp

  • Sprinkles ATM

    The “cupcake ATM” and a cupcake from Sprinkles

  • The Beverly Hills Hotel

    The Beverly Hills Hotel

  • The Beverly Hills Hotel

    The terrace and a dessert at the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge; photos courtesy of TheDeliciousLife.com

  • Chaumont

    Chaumont’s storefront and pastry chef Nicholas Rancon

  • Ice Cream Lab

    Ice-Cream Lab

  • Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive

    Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive

  • Harajuku Crepes

    Sweet treats at Harajuku Crepe

  • Kreation Juice

    The 24-hour juice machine and the pick-up window at Kreation Juice

  • Thompson Beverly Hills

    Thompson Beverly Hills

CHEAT SHEET
WHERE

L.A. spans some 500 square miles on the Pacific Coast of Southern California.

WHY GO

Though it’s a mind-bogglingly varied place, ready to contradict every preconception, it’s not hard to encounter the high-gloss L.A. of our imagination — show business, impossibly beautiful people, legendary nightlife, bank-busting shopping, perfect weather and all.

HOW

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the major air hub on North America’s West Coast, with direct domestic and international flights aplenty.

TABLET TIP

Once in town, you’ll need to get comfy in a car. L.A.’s public transportation system exists somewhere between unhelpful and altogether unknown. But really, poor public transit is beside the point, for what would the place be without its car culture?

Beverly Hills, June, 2013

To eat or not to eat, that is the question when it comes to desserts. You don’t have to be a nutritionist to know that massive doses of sugar are bad for the body. Then again, your shrink might tell you that a little indulgence is just what your psyche needs. In the end, it’s really just a question of how delicious the sugary treat in question is. And in Beverly Hills, where counting calories is part of daily life, any place that stays in business selling the sweet stuff has got to be doing something right.

At Chaumont, a French bakery and café that opened in January, just three and a half blocks from Thompson Beverly Hills, you can find what may be some of the best French desserts and pastries on the whole continent. Everything, from classics like the choux à la crème and the éclair to European-style cupcakes with cream fillings (in addition to frosting, of course), is made fresh in the kitchen at the back of the airy little shop. Their signature item, a decadent, oversized macaron with a pistachio cream center and fresh raspberries, is to die for. If you’re more of a macaron purist, head to ‘Lette Macarons, only a minute’s walk away on Charleville Boulevard. Here the meringues are simpler in form, though the flavors range from traditional raspberry, citron or Madagascar vanilla to modern options like lychee, mint chocolate and New Orleans praline.

Up on Santa Monica Boulevard, French desserts get a Tokyo twist at Harajuku Crepe. Every crêpe is made to order, and you can build your own by choosing a batter (original, green tea, buckwheat or Earl Grey) and what goes inside, or simply choose to order their specials, such as the American Usual (strawberries, banana, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and Pocky sticks) or Strawberry Daifuku (adzuki bean paste, strawberries, whipped cream and green tea ice cream). Each crêpe is rolled up and wrapped at the bottom with paper, just like at take-away stands on Parisian streets. Oh, and almost all the ingredients are organic — this is, after all, still California.

For something especially experimental, the Ice-Cream Lab may satiate both your sweet tooth and your scientific curiosity. They use liquid nitrogen to flash-freeze organic ingredients on the spot, right after you place your order. Sure, cooking with liquid nitrogen lacks the novelty-factor it had a few years ago, but the fluffy consistency of the ice cream transcends the ebb and flow of culinary trends, and flavors like coffee brittle, which marries dark chocolate toffee brittle and almonds with Intelligentsia coffee, can only be found here. There’s a ’90s-style graffiti wall inside, which may be off-putting for someone with an upscale design sensibility, but don’t let that dissuade you. The goods are delicious. Both the Lab and the Harajuku crêpe shop are a mere five-minute walk from Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive, which means you can always run back to the posh comfort of your own room to savor the desserts in privacy.

If you’re in more of a see-and-be-seen mood, the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel is famous for celeb sightings, though sweet-toothed Angelenos know the real reason to go is for classic desserts like bananas foster, chocolate soufflé and bread pudding. It’s open till 1:30 a.m., convenient for late-nighters. But if a sudden sugar craving attacks you at an even later hour, perhaps on your way back from a night out in West Hollywood, there’s always the cupcake ATM at Sprinkles.

Feeling guilty from all the sugar and booze you’ve consumed? Then take a few loopy steps down Santa Monica Boulevard and go to Kreation Juice, where you can purchase fresh, organic, cold-pressed juice around the clock from yet another ATM. With a simple swipe of your card, you’re back on your way to that healthy Southern California lifestyle.

Aiko Ishikawa

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CHEAT SHEET
WHERE

L.A. spans some 500 square miles on the Pacific Coast of Southern California.

WHY GO

Though it’s a mind-bogglingly varied place, ready to contradict every preconception, it’s not hard to encounter the high-gloss L.A. of our imagination — show business, impossibly beautiful people, legendary nightlife, bank-busting shopping, perfect weather and all.

HOW

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the major air hub on North America’s West Coast, with direct domestic and international flights aplenty.

TABLET TIP

Once in town, you’ll need to get comfy in a car. L.A.’s public transportation system exists somewhere between unhelpful and altogether unknown. But really, poor public transit is beside the point, for what would the place be without its car culture?


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