Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Mini Foodventure #138: Syrup Desserts (Downtown LA)

Exterior

Being a sucker for all things sugary, when I was attending a blogger pal's post-wedding bash in downtown LA, I took the opportunity of my early arrival to check out the soft-opened Syrup Desserts, a café specializing serving up sweets, coffee and tea until fairly late at night. Could have great potential as an after-dinner, post-show or following-barhopping spot . . .

View from Front
Having been to chi-chi dessert lounges of the East Coast and more casual bakery-cafés that just serve great sweets, I didn't know what to expect in terms of Syrup's environs. It was actually kind of a mix of both -- the downstairs had a more laid-back coffeehouse vibe, while the upstairs loft had a swankier lounge feel with cushier sofas, coffee tables and even assorted board games neatly tucked away. So it's appropriate whether you want a quick grab-and-go, a brief sweet bite or linger around longer.
Sweet Grilled Cheese menu
More daunting, however, is their menu -- which easily has over 50 items just for eats alone (and at least another 30 more for beverages). Syrup is definitely ambitious with its offerings, which included: waffles, crepes, sweet grilled cheeses, ice creams, frozen yogurts PLUS assorted cakes and baked goods. Even though a lot of the ingredients are easily mix-and-matchable (a strawberry crepe vs. strawberry grilled cheese vs. strawberry waffle, for example) their casting such a wide net still makes me wonder if they can do any item well.
Grilled Blackberry Sandwich
Since the sweet grilled cheeses were the most unique of their offerings, that's what I got -- more specifically a Blackberry Grilled for $5.50 - with fresh blackberries, blackberry preserves, crushed walnuts and muenster cheese between slices of Texas Toast bread, along with a side of fruit.
Grilled Blackberry + Side of Fruit
The version I got were actually served on raisin-walnut bread instead, but otherwise it was pretty good. The globs of the creamy, slightly-savory cheese worked well against the fruity-sweetness of the preserve and the distinct tang from the smashed up berries. I wish it got grilled just a little bit longer though, so that the bread would get that ever-so-thin layer of crispy (if carcinogenic) black char and the cheese would be REALLY hot 'n gooey instead of just warm 'n slightly stretchy. The accompanying fruit cup is a nice extra touch, but nothing to write much about, it's basically an assortment of the bite-sized fruits they'd top their froyo with.

I am also intrigued by their habanero-lime iced tea; alas, they ran out -- but overall, I think it's a great concept. Hopefully they do just a good a job with their other dessert items, but for me the sweet grilled cheeses are definitely the draw (since I have yet to see such an extensive menu of those around town.) Maybe I'll even cobble a group together on my next trip so I can taste the Peach & Mascarpone, Asian Pear & Gouda and Apple & Cheddar sandwiches all at once! And to try that intriguing tea . . .
View of Downstairs
What Do Others Say?
Urbandaddy also seems to dig the specialty waffle and sweet sandwich offerings
Gastronomy had my sandwich too and loves it; the waffle, not-as-much


Syrup Desserts
611 S. Spring
Los Angeles, CA
213.488.5136
Twitter Page (Web site forthcoming)

9 comments:

THE ACTORS DIET said...

aaaah! my teeth hurt just from the name of this place. my heart is pumping with love, though....

Food, she thought. said...

I do not have much of a sweet tooth, but that sweet grilled cheese looks amazing.

H. C. said...

TAD, there are few better way to show love than with some sweet, gooey, cheesy goodness...

Liz, it is delish -- and totally revives some UC Davis memories, where my favorite Crepe shop serves up a cinnamon apple+sharp cheddar crepe, a great combo of fruity-cheesy, sweet-spicy-savory!

Diana said...

Nicely put! I wrote up my post today.

Mmm carcinogenic char... grilled cheese just ain't the same without it! ;)

CITYNITZ said...

Awww, that's too bad the waffles weren't as good as you guys thought it would be...

Exile Kiss said...

Hi H.C.,

Nice report, thanks! :) Wow, so did you find the whole dining experience cloying after a while (with so many sweet offerings), or do you think it holds up over a full meal? If nothing else, it looks really intriguing. :)

H. C. said...

@ExileKiss, I think it depends on what (and how much) is ordered, but me personally -- a sweet grilled cheese is a great size for an afternoon snack, or I can split one with a friend following a full-meal elsewhere.

pinknest said...

Oooh that all looks good! But I'd be so overwhelmed with all the choices!

H. C. said...

@Diana, I know -- no point in grilled cheese sans that cancer-inducing char!

@Citynitz, I think Diana liked hers -- Gastronomer not so much... but indeed, lots more to try upon return

@Pinknest, yes, the menu is a bit overwhelming -- hopefully it gets a bit more streamlined and pared down in the future lest they want a queue up the wazoo full of indecisive customers like me!

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