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OO Tea Jasmine milk tea with boba: OO Tea is a Taiwanese import of the brand “Wushiland.” As far as I know, there are only two locations in the US: one in a San Gabriel strip mall in LA and another in a Ranch 99 in San Diego. I went to the latter, which was an unassuming bubble tea stand without any seating; my order was taken in Mandarin, not English. Wushiland uses organic milk for their milk teas and it shows. I ordered their jasmine milk tea and found it to be the single best version of milk tea that I’ve ever had in the ... (read more) 4.5/5.0

drinks 4.5 boba tea milk jasmine ootea milktea bubbletea sandiego exceptional
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Dominique Ansel Bakery Gingerbread Pinecone: I still haven't tried a cronut, but I have tried some of Dominique Ansel's desserts in the past, mostly through special events held at his New York West Village Kitchen location. While some were exceptional, namely a pea and carrot dessert modeled after a baby's first word, others have actually been quite bad (like the pie night a few years ago). There is a relatively short line at his first bakery and restaurant in Los Angeles at The Grove, so I opted for a seasonal treat: the gingerbread... (read more) 4.5/5.0

4.5 pinecone gingerbread dominiqueanselbakery dominiqueansel la losangeles chocolate speculoos spiced ginger ganache cake desserts exceptional
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Bhan Kanom Thai Pangchi: Pangchi is a bite-sized sticky rice pancake cooked on the griddle, giving it a crispy crust on both sides and mochi-like interior mixed with corn. While not captured in this photograph, panchi are actually lilac in color. Mochi is my favorite snack, and this take on crispy mochi was eye opening and delicious. A perfect bite. Purchased from the Thai dessert specialty store Bhan Kanom Thai in LA. 4.5/5.0

4.5 pangchi bhankanomthai corn stickyrice mochi thai dessert exceptional
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Bhan Kanom Thai Sticky rice with taro: Wrapped in a banana leaf, this steamed dessert consists of long grain glutinous rice with a taro filling at the center. The quality of the rice is superb and quite possibly the best sticky rice I’ve had. It’s chewy but still has just enough bite. Perfumed with coconut water, the rice has a very faint sweet tropical flavor, while the taro adds additional richness and a contrasting soft and creamy texture. As far as classic desserts go, this traditional sticky rice was a revelation and at $1.5... (read more) 4.5/5.0

4.5 taro rice sticky bhankanomthai stickyrice dessert losangeles la exceptional
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Acme Bread Almond Plum Pastry: Sometimes when I have a bad day, I'll stop by the Ferry Building in San Francisco and grab a small snack. On my last trip, I purchased a small almond plum pastry, priced at just a little over $2. Inside were warmed, fresh slices of plum, while the pastry itself was flaky on the outside but comfortingly soft on the inside. Dusted with just a bit of powdered sugar, the pastry was faintly sweet yet distinctly almond-flavored. One of the more perfect little bites I've had this year. 4.5/5.0

4.5 plum almond acmebread sanfrancisco bread pastry exceptional
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Wanderlust Creamery Green apple wasabi sorbet and yuzu cheesecake ice cream: Located on Glendale Boulevard in Atwater Village (LA), Wanderlust Creamery offers flavors inspired by locations around the world. Their unusual flavors made it very difficult to pick just two, but I went with their green apple and wasabi sorbet along with yuzu cheesecake. I loved the tartness and spicy aftertaste of the apple wasabi, which was expertly balanced, and the yuzu cheesecake had a delicious graham crackle crumble and yuzu jam throughout. The flavors were fantastic and some of t... (read more) 4.5/5.0

4.5 cream ice cheesecake yuzu sorbet wasabi apple green wanderlustcreamery japanese la icecream exceptional