Best of Summer: Desserts @ Nobu, West Hollywood


Posted by Anisha | Posted in , , , , | Posted on 8/30/2010

When it comes to food writing, I find that dessert and cocktails may very well be my forté... it's only taken a year to figure out. My attraction to writing sweet blurbs on Citysearch's now "decayed" Sugarbomber was magnetic and these days, dinner is always consummated with dessert.

About a month or so ago, an invite to sample the new desserts at Nobu popped up in my inbox and sweet tooth aside, I couldn't say no. I adored my first taste of Nobu at TOTNLA, classic miso marinated black cod with butter lettuce:

 I just had to order it again...
Miso black cod with butter lettuce ($8)

I made my trek to Nobu on a Saturday evening around happy hour, hoping to grab a little snack and to sip on a savory cocktail. I went solo and sat at the bar; it was all very picturesque and felt like a scene out of a movie. Clearly, I don't dine alone.

Pisco sour
pisco, fresh lime juice, sugar cane
tip: only $7 for mixed drinks at happy hour in the bar!

With a Pisco sour, there was really no need for company. I'm a sucker for cocktails with some frothy egg whites action and this one really hit the spot. Next time, I'll try their Spicy Açai made with (big surprise) Veev açai vodka.

The bartender is an expert when it comes to choosing quality ingredients for his cocktails. When I spotted my favorite ginger beer, Cock 'N Bull, he mentioned that he tested over ten ginger beers to find the right one for the Melbourne Mule. Now that is gingery sweet dedication. This smoky sour cocktail fared well when paired against the sweet debauchery that would soon envelop my mouth.

When it comes to desserts, I maintain a chocolate bias. To me, chocolate must end the day; hell, it signals bedtime like a tall glass of warm milk, but infinitely better! At Nobu, I had no chocolate... and it was good.

 Cheesecake ($12)
cheesecake mousse, sable breton, raspberry coulis, strawberry gelato
The first of Nobu's summer desserts is unfussy and is merely listed as "Cheesecake." Like its simple title, it's not overly complicated. The cheesecake mousse was light and airy (duh, it's mousse), feigning similarities in flavor to Taiwanese cheesecakes found in bakeries around Arcadia. The crust is a sable breton, a crunchy tart shell resembling a day old shortbread cookie. Paired with the dessert, is fresh raspberry coulis and a creamy strawberry gelato.

  shichimi sugar work:
where sweet and savory play nice

What screams "Nobu!" about this plate? Executive Pastry Chef Gabriel Riva incorporated shichimi, Japanese seven spice, into the delicate sugar decoration. Don't you dig when savory and sweet play off of each other so harmoniously?

Equilibrium ($11)
orange supremes, sweet goat cream cheese, micro arugula, caramelized pecans, & orange-pomegranate sorbet

In all honesty, the Cheesecake was good, but the Equilibrium blew my mind! This sweet salad of sorts made my experience at Nobu, as well as my list of Top Ten in 2010 desserts. Achieving perfect balance, the Equilibrium incorporated acidic oranges with the creamiest piped goat cheese, along with the tang of the micro arugula. The orange-pomegranate sorbet was perfectly sweet and reminded me that it was indeed a dessert. It melted into a soup-salad mess, which I happily spooned by tilting my plate. Finally, the caramelized pecans added the crunch factor this plate so desperately needed. It's everything you want in a dessert, without a sugar coma.

With summer ending, you must head down to Nobu for the Equilibrium and a cocktail. From a sampling of two desserts, it's pretty damn evident that Nobu West Hollywood is a solid dessert destination.

903 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90069

Nobu Los Angeles in Los Angeles on Fooddigger

Nobu on Urbanspoon

Pastry Chef Jashmine Corpuz' Peachy Take on Desserts


Posted by Anisha | Posted in , , | Posted on 8/04/2010

A day or so ago, I posted a short and oh so very sweet list of some mouthwatering peachy desserts around Los Angeles. In celebration of National Peach Month, Drago Centro's Pastry Chef, Jashmine Corpuz, had a little something to add:

from Pastry Chef Jashmine's iPhone:
"le palacinche"

Le palacinche is Italian for sweet crepes filled with fruit and a cheese component, namely ricotta or mascarpone (but please, correct me if I'm wrong). In this case, Chef Jashmine fills her crepes with a roasted white chocolate and tops these golden specimens with  peach and nectarine compote, toasted silvered almonds, and vanilla gelato.

Sounds phenomenal, right? It's an added benefit knowing that the Regier red top peaches and Balderama white nectarines are sourced from Santa Monica Farmer's Market.

In addition to the mouthwatering description provided by the pastry chef herself, here's a peachy tip Jashmine wanted to share with you...

Peach and Nectarine Compote
  • In a medium sized pot, cook the ripest peaches with sugar, vanilla, and a bit of white wine
  • Cook until the mixture is tender and then puree with a hand blender
  • Use this puree to cook the peaches that are semi-firm, as it will bring out the best of the under ripe peaches
If you've yet to try Drago Centro's desserts, I strongly suggest that you head on over. At so many restaurants, desserts are either a hit or miss, but I have yet to have one off-putting experience at Drago Centro thanks to this very talented pastry chef!

Pastry chef Jashmine Corpuz & me! 

Thank you so much for the insider's look at le palacinche!

Don't forget to follow @jashminecorpuz and @dragocentro on Twitter!

Sneak Sweet: Peachy Desserts


Posted by Anisha | Posted in , | Posted on 8/01/2010

Napa Valley Grille, Westwood Village:
Farmhouse Blackberry Peach Pie

August is National Peach Month! How are you going to celebrate? I've selected a few of the peachiest restaurants around Los Angeles that have updated their dessert menus.

Here's the list.
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