Craft’s consistently been listed as the biggest hit out of all the DineLA’s restaurants. Yet people tend to be sadomasochistic star fuckers, and so one must simply LOL when something like this happens. You had a pathetic power-tripping server embargo your “complimentary” cake? And then the chef/owner literally told you to fuck off? Then Koreans on the internet cosigned his mocking retort? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Sorry for the schadenfreude, but that would never happen at Craft.

You know what happens during Craft’s crafty dessert service? The pastry chef texts the GM/hometown gal pal from 1450 miles away, and bam, buttery flour magic happens, all very ninja-like. Suddenly, a certain “Stacy” moseys up to the table, drops 2 massive dessert bombs, casually mentions something about must-have desserts, batts her eyelashes a few times and walks away. Again, dessert ninjas. Meanwhile, another soldier in the dessert army takes digestif orders and out comes a rather unoffensive Ramos Pinto white port.

Remember that time everyone was basically disappointed by the Providence Dessert Tasting? Craft doesn’t know how to do disappointing dessert. Since Catherine Schimenti opened the Craft Los Angeles pastry program, the desserts here seemed to travel in their own orbits, high above the rest. Every celebratory hapenning should end at Craft. Gross dinner after SoaG? Make it up with dessert at Craft. Still hungry after some kebabs at Kebab Mahaleh? Dessert at Craft. Backed into your boyfriend’s car? Dessert at Craft. Screwed your wife’s younger cousin? Dessert and port at craft?


Above is an all encompassing dessert review of an 8 course (1 dessert amuse, 1 mignardise) dessert degustation (or just disgustation) which happened during March. From top left to bottom right: panna cotta with pickled seasonal citrus (kumquat), blueberry pavlova, toasted coconut cream & coconut sorbet. The “birthday” cake. Chocolate cobberler, dried cherries & mint chip ice cream. Toasted cashew semifreddo with roasted banana, and malted milk chocolate ice cream. Rhubarb pie, oatmeal streusel and vanilla ice cream. Meyer lemon pudding cake with local citrus (kumquat) and Bergamot sherbet. Finally, the mignardises of caramel popcorn, etc.

Dine LA’s menu features:
brown sugar pavlova with Fitz’s Peaches & Murray Farm Berries
Chocolate Truffle Tartwith hazelnut praline/bittersweet Mousse

Current Craft dessert menu can be found here, but it literally changes once a week, depending on chef Swindle’s pulse on the dessert sales, market freshly, and of course, his whimsy.

We got:

Short cake with market berries (we received the strawberries instead of blackerries(?) from the standard dessert menu because, I’d like to think, Pastry Ninja Shannon & I had discussed strawberries over Twitter at some point last month. The vanilla crème frâiche & strawberry sorbet instantly elevated this dish to the top of the dessert pyramid. There was the [unpictured] standard Dine LA chocolart truffle “tart” [with cashew praline & coffee ice cream], which was just a wonderment of all these that are sweet, buttery and flaky. But then one breaks a morsel off the personal sized peach pie [oatmeal streusel] and the world stops. Follow that by a small dollop, taken from the always perfect quenelled peach ice cream, and you will literally laugh out loud at all the comments concerning Pie Hole on this LA Weekly “10 Best Pies in LA” piece.

No one is suggesting this obsession with Craft’s dessert chef is healthy, nor it should be emulated. But if you had to obsess about dessert (Milos? Lukshon? Providence? Short Cake? Bottega?), do it at this “chain” restaurant in the middle of nowhere.

Craft LA
Somewhere in Century City, by the magical CSA building, and the even more magical Annenberg Space for Photography.

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