Tuesday, September 08, 2009
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 . . .
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.
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.
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.
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 . . .
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
611 S. Spring
Los Angeles, CA
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