7 Great Asian Desserts in the San Gabriel Valley | KCET
7 Great Asian Desserts in the San Gabriel Valley
Get your cameras ready! Here's a guide to seven extremely photogenic Asian-inspired desserts in the area:
Cotton Candy Cloud: Plaisir D'amour Cafe
At first glance, Plaisir is a standard boba tea shop in the San Gabriel Valley. Until you realize they have fluffy cloud of spun sugar. Don't be fooled by the picture, the cloud is simple. It's essentially cotton candy, whipped to a large mass and held together by a stick. Put it over a cute drink and there you have it. The cotton candy cloud is available over any drink and makes for a lovely sweetener in the drink. Just pull off a piece, plop it in your drink, and watch it dissolve. 18340 E Colima Road, Rowland Heights, CA 91748.
Puffect Bakery specializes in macarons and Hong Kong-style egg waffles, also known as egg puffs. Macarons are everywhere in Los Angeles, but Puffect likes to distinguish themselves with a repertoire of cute character-shaped selections. The egg puffs are also something to write home about. Traditionally, they are simply an egg-based cake flavored with a hint of vanilla, but Purrfect Bakery is uniquely innovative with their flavors. Think red velvet with buttercream frosting and Thai tea with mochi. My personal favorite -- the churro egg puff flavored with a mad dash of cinnamon sugar. 385 S Lemon Ave., Walnut, CA 91789.
Cafe Maji's snow affogato is a lot of fun. It's a big cloud of cotton candy over vanilla ice cream. You pour espresso on top of it all and watch the cotton candy collapse into the bowl. The cafe also has a stunning variety of lattes, decorated with cartoon faces, and a delicious bulgogi sandwich if you're craving something savory. Downside: It's located on top of a gym, so there's a bit of a chlorine smell that seeps through the cafe area. 56 E Duarte Rd #2, Arcadia, CA 91006.
The Ice Bar is a customized popsicle bar with a focus on high-end ingredients. The owner is Eugene Mar, who makes all the popsicles by hand. Try the blueberry and Korean pear pop, which is decorated by a whimsical blend of blueberry and Calpico icing. It's garnished with lemon thyme and Thai basil. Jasmine powder is sprinkled on last. And if you're into hazelnut chocolate (because c'mon who isn't?), The Ice Bar has a wonderful bananas and cream version doused with Nutella. 550 S Glendora Ave, West Covina, CA 91790.
Class 302 is a pioneer in the San Gabriel Valley dessert scene and the first to introduce snow cream to Angelenos. The difference between snow cream and regular shaved ice lies in the ingredients. Snow cream is made by freezing a block of flavored, condensed milk (as opposed to just a block of ice) and shaving it down into flaky ribbons of layered snow.Though it markets itself as a lunch joint, most people only go for their dessert. The green tea shaved snow, pleasantly earthy, is topped with a heaping of fruit and a thick chocolate drizzle. Other variations include mango and chocolate, but nothing quite beats the original. 1015 S Nogales St, Ste 125, Rowland Heights, CA 91748.
The owner apprenticed at various bakeries in Taiwan and his creations reflect that. While the bakery faces competition from larger establishments like 85°C Bakery Cafe, the main draw here is the quality. Their brick toasts are gorgeous and there's a clear emphasis on fresh fruits and flavors. Start with the simple honey brick toast topped with strawberries and a scoop of ice cream, and if you're set on continuing your glorious dessert binge, peach and mango are solid options. They also have mini-toasts, pudding variations, and an epic one known as the Volcano, which is four layers high. 801 East Valley Boulevard, San Gabriel, CA 91776.
Premier is wonderfully creative and has a strong tendency towards tropical fruits. The food is plated so well, you almost want to hang it up on the wall. They have lychee lava puddings and pandan mango pancakes. If you're into durian (the polarizing fruit that smells like stinky socks) then you'll love the options available here. They do a soft shaved ice with condensed milk, topped with fresh durian and black sticky rice. If you just want a fruit that's a little bit more conservative, give the mango lava pudding or mango rolls a whirl. 501 W Garvey Ave Ste 107 Monterey Park, CA 91754.
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