Friday, March 6, 2015

Lady M Confections: Dreams of Green Tea Crepe Cakes

Sometimes, you just want a quick, fantastic piece of cake.  No meal, no fuss, just a fabulous dessert - and not necessarily for your birthday.

Lady M doesn't always deliver on 'quick', but they definitely satisfy the need for 'fantastic' when it comes to their crepe cakes.

Known for their 'Mille Crêpes' cakes: the wondrous creations with twenty or more crêpes, layered with the lightest pastry cream, the international dessert house has its LA outpost mid-City, on the same block as AOC.

The storefront / pseudo-cafe is tiny, essentially a cake counter plus a handful of tables inside and out on the sidewalk. There is almost always two giant lines, one for to go / pick up orders and one to get seated - unless you manage to arrive early, right at opening.

One look at the case of beautiful cakes / pastries, and any stress of the day or from the wait will melt away.

Over several rare days when I was able to get up early to go, I was able to check out different flavors of their Mille Crêpes: signature, green tea and seasonal flavors like chocolate or chestnut (yes, unbelievably, chocolate is considered seasonal).

The Signature Mille Crepes ($7.50) cakes are the best elements of crepes, creme brulee and cake all in one.  The handmade crêpes are paper-thin, soft yet structured, and in between each of the 20+ layers are unbelievably delicate, light airy pastry cream.  To take the whole thing to eyes-rolled-way-back, audible-moaning good, they caramelize the top of the cake ever so slightly so that it has that crisp, intensified sweetness with just a trace of smokiness that you get from a torched top of a creme brulee dessert.

Of all the flavors though, Green Tea Mille Crepes ($8) stands out as my favorite - instead of caramelization, the top of this cake is adorned with a green tea powder.  The distinctive taste of fresh green tea is pleasantly expressed throughout the piece, in perfect balance with the sweetness of the crepes and pastry cream.

I've tried a few of their other cakes, like Strawberry Mille Feuilles ($8) and Banana Mille Feuilles ($8), but none are as mind-blowingly great as the Mille Crepes.

If you dine-in at the cafe, don't miss the Lady M teas - my favorite is Royal Wedding ($6) - hate the name, love the fragrance and flavors: it's a white tea blended with almond, coconut, vanilla and pink rosebuds.  Perfect paired with any of the Mille Crepes cakes. 

My only wish for Lady M is that they would build out a bigger, better space that can provide an experience to match the high quality of their desserts and tea - a place that allows for a more relaxed and refined environment to enjoy it all.  The current space is cramped, noisy, and stressful as there's always other guests hovering just a few feet away, hangrily waiting for you to finish so that they can take your table.  And with the current design, it looks like open seating, so newbies are always diving in to try to snag tables even before they had been cleared - and it's almost a groundhog day situation on fast forward, where every 10 minutes or so the poor servers have to bat people back to clear space and/or restore order / appease angry guests who had been waiting.

If you want to avoid the chaos, get in the other line - for to go / pickup.  Mille crêpes are available single slice, as well as full sized cakes - and has become my new go-to for VIP birthdays.  Prices range from $40 for a 6-incher, to $75-$80 for a 9-inch.

On a 7 point scale:
Flavor - 6 bites
Presentation - 5 bites
Originality - 5 bites
Ambience - 4.5 stars
Service - 5.5 stars
Overall experience - 5 bites
Price - $ (1 bite mark)
Probability of return visit - 100% 

Lady M Confections
8718 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Ph: 424.279.9495

(Locations also in NYC, Singapore, and Korea - see website for details)


Parking:  valet is free for first 15 minutes (for people just picking up orders), $4 for first two hours thereafter


Lady M Confections on Urbanspoon

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