In times like the past few weeks, where it's been an absolute freight train of frenzied activity, I really appreciate places like Cake House that lend a spot of sweetness and ease to my day. In essence, Cake House is sort of like a grocery store bakery - but attached to a korean supermarket (in Koreatown Galleria), and with much tastier offerings.
Located in the lower level, just outside the entrance to the supermarket - I like to think of Cake House as a 'drive through' for my shopping cart on the way in to Galleria Market to pick up ingredients for a delicious 'home-made' Korean BBQ dinner (ok, a cheat - the market offers pre-marinated meats of all sorts including galbi and bulgogi, just grill and serve - as well as pre-packaged side dishes from kimchee to seaweed salad - perfect for a no-fuss weeknight meal. I also love the convenience of the bags of frozen mandu - tasty korean dumplings - that services protein, veg and carb intake all in one easy package, and are easy to pan fry at home for a quick bite). If Cake House were a drive-through, I would say it is the In & Out of desserts, where other market bakeries like Ralph's would be Mickey D's (McDonald's).
So, what I bought on my latest excursion: Cream Mocha ($3.25) and Chocolate ($2.75). The Cream Mocha was fantastic, with a light whipped frosting layered with sponge cake, both at the perfect level of mocha flavor, and topped with berries, a 'naked' (natural, unsalted) almond and a single coffee bean.
The Chocolate cake was a little too dense and bitter for my taste - I like my cakes light in texture and rich in flavor - and this one was overwhelming in both areas, requiring some work to carve out sticky forkfuls.
While quality and taste are a bit inconsistent, overall it is still above average for supermarket bakeries - the convenient location is a huge lure (beautiful pieces for your dinner table without any effort - focus your grocery shopping / cooking on your savory courses and let Cake House take care of dessert!). Cake House also offers whole cakes, cake 'rolls' (e.g. cake logs that serve 6-10 people $18-$20), cupcakes, individually wrapped macarons ($1.25), individually packaged buns filled with ingredients like red bean paste, a perfectly portable snack to bring to work (which totally beats popcorn or chips, or - *shudder* - twinkies, and is more filling and fresh) and specialty loaves like Chestnut bread or Mocha bread ($6 each).
While Cake House is not a 'destination' dining spot by any means (and there isn't any seating available) - the next time I happen to go to Galleria Market I will most likely pop by the counter again.
On a 7 point scale:
Flavor - 5 bites
Presentation - 6 bites
Originality - 4.5 bites
Ambience - 2 stars
Service - 5 stars
Overall experience - 4.5 bites
Price - $ (1 bite mark)
Probability of return visit - 90%
Cake House - Koreatown Galleria