Sunday, February 21, 2010

Venezuelan Arepas & Crumbs Bake Shop

Venezuelan Arepas

I had Venezuelan arepas for the first time when I visited New York late last year and went to this restaurant called Caracas Arepa Bar.  It was amazing!  They are like mini corn meal sandwiches made in the size of an English muffin.  Basically think of an English muffin cut in half with the insides scooped out and replaced with yummy fillings.  The outside is golden and crispy, combined with the filling of your choice and sauce, sooo good!

So ever since I got back to LA, I started searching for arepa places.  Sadly, they are very hard to find here!  I almost thought about buying my own arepa maker and corn meal!  I only was able to find 2 cafes around my area that serve it.

One of them is Cafe Bolivar in Santa Monica.  It's a little cafe, and they only have 5 or 6 different kinds of arepas.  The price is extremely cheap though, around $3 each.  My favorite one there is the Reina Pepiada, which is a pretty popular arepas filling.  Basically chicken salad mixed with avocado.  Their tuna salad one is also good, and so is the one with mango, avocado and cheese filling.

The other one that I had been wanting to try but didn't have a chance to until yesterday was Coupa Cafe in Beverly Hills.  From their site I knew that they had tons more fillings for the arepas, and they even have breakfast arepas with eggs, bacon, cheese, etc.  Sounded good.  The cafe was pretty cute too, in the heart of Beverly Hills, 2 blocks away from Rodeo Drive.  The price definitely reflected the location.  Each arepa was $8, almost 3 times the cost at Cafe Bolivar!  But whatever, I was ok with that and ordered 2.  I got the Reina Pepiada again, and another one called Cami, which had some white cheese, avocado, and fried plantain.  They were both pretty good, but not good enough to cost 3 times more than Cafe Bolivar.  Plus, the service was SO slow.  I mean we waited at least 30 minutes for the food to come out.  My boyfriend got a beef and beans arepas, and a shark meat arepas which he said were ok, and my friend only got a salad.  Soooo doubt I will ever go back to that place again. 

Crumbs Bake Shop

The original Crumbs location is half a block away from Coupa Cafe on Little Santa Monica Blvd, so naturally I had to stop by there.  It was my 2 year anniversary with my boyfriend so we felt like it was ok to splurge a little calorie on Crumbs' yumminess!  


Mmmmm so delicious!  I love Crumbs cupcakes!  I don't know why anyone would go to Sprinkles when Crumbs is right there on the same street.  Their cupcakes are 3-4 times bigger than Sprinkles, and cheaper!  Or about the same price?  I can't remember.  I think Sprinkles charges over $4 for a little cupcake and Crumbs charges $3.75 for a gigantic one!  They are also prettier too hehe.  

I've tried many different flavors from Crumbs in the past, and they are all good!  Sweet of course, and probably contain a million calories (I'm not even going to look that up), but totally worth it to satisfy the sweet tooth.  

This time though, I got 2 flavors I never tried before - the "White Hot Chocolate" and the "Coffee Toffee".  White Hot Chocolate was VERY sweet.  It had all white chocolate icing, and white chocolate chips all around the side, with a few marshmellows on top.  The Coffee Toffee was less sweet, with a little bit of mocha flavor in the icing, but definitely not overpowering.  In fact, if I didn't know it was coffee flavored, I would not have guessed.  The sides are covered with bits of toffee.  So good!  I think it may be my favorite.  I'm so glad I tried it instead of going with my usual Cookie & Cream.  After this weekend I'm going have to hit the treadmill hard!

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