Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sprinkle some fairy dust weee (OC/LA)

Cupcakes. Cupcakes for $3.25 each. I'm not even sure i can afford cupcakes that are $3.25, but apparently alot of people in Beverly hills can!

Los Angeles is the home of fads and one of the current fads to pop up in the recent years is the advent of expensive cupcakes. Expensive as in, organic materials and exquisite ingredients compiled into a little round piece of dough. At the forefront of this explosion is Sprinkles in Beverly Hills. If Pinkberry was the "yogurt" *cough* that launched a thousand parking tickets then Sprinkles is the cupcake that launched a thousand BMW's waiting in front of one store =P.

So on a sunny saturday afternoon with nothing to do, Kathy and i decided to venture to good ol Beverly Hills and try to see what the fuss was all about. Since we were not horribly impressed with Pinkberry we figured this just to be another fad.

While walking toward Sprinkles i look up and say to Kathy "i think i see where Sprinkles is". What do i see?
A giant giant line of people. At one point i counted about 50 people in line, which on top of that there are another 10+ people inside ordering their cupcakes and waiting for their order. Since the store is rather small , people can't squish in and wait so you have to wait outside! Their excuse for not opening the door is this.
After waiting about 25 minutes we finally get the opportunity to get near the door. Milk chocolate floats into our nostrils, i was now as excited as a young child at 3am Christmas morning. I love the smell of baked goods! We finally get inside and i'm able to snap a couple of pictures before being told i can't take pictures!
oh no little asian boy might give away our trade secrets, or maybe the non-existant flash will ruin the cupcakes!!! I hate it when people won't let me take pictures bleh. But i got all i needed!

This large glass greets you in the entrance, right behind it are rows upon rows of cupcakes with a little place holder telling you what delicacy you'll soon be devouring. On the board is a list of cupcakes, additional things you can add. The interesting thing about this store is they don't make every flavor every day. They pick and choose a set of cupcakes for any given day and they put little dots next to the cupcakes that are available (if you look closely you can see it on the menu).

(rows of cupcakes)
We are then told we can't take pictures when we tried to take a picture of me trying to eat a cupcake thru the glass! Sorry! i can't grace you all with the beauty that is my face. Another time.

While waiting in line a worker comes up to you and has you place your order. After placing the order you move along and wait for them to pack it! You'd think with the way they were packing it the cupcakes were so fragile they would explode with the slightest pressure. I've never seen so much attention and delicateness applied to a cupcake!

After ordering a dozen cupcakes for Father's day lunch and 3 for Kathy and i to share at the moment, the grand total came to a horribly horribly death defying (showing caculations cause i'm aznmathwiz)
A dozen cupcakes 36$
3 cupcakes 9.75.
8.25 tax in LA (yuck)
for a grand total of 45.75!

In our little box to share Kathy and i got the (counter clockwise) Red Velvet, Vanilla milk chocolate, and the black and white (and a surprise)
Ready for the surprise?
weeeee nothing empty space so the cupcakes won't move around! These people think of everything! I'm also curious why they separated the Red Velvet from the other ones, they did the same thing to the ones in the dozen.. *shrug*.

On ward to the cupcakes themselves!
The first one we tried was the Red Velvet. A light chocolate cake (red colored) with a cream cheese frosting on top. When i first bit into it i couldn't say anything, just "wow wow wow". The chocolate was perfect, when they said light it was the perfect description. Just a hint of chocolate with every bite as you bite through soft soft cake that just splills into your mouth. The cream cheese tasted like there was a bit of chocolate in it as well! The cake itself was just incredibly moist yet sturdy at the same time, it didn't flake and fall apart in your mouth like a cheap corner stone bakery cupcake. This was easily my favorite cupcake out of the ones i've tried so far (vanilla milk chocolate, peanut butter chocolate chip).

The ONLY problem i have with Sprinkles is their excessive use of frosting.
If you can see, the layer of frosting is actually rather thick on the cupcake. It gets to the point where it almost overwhelms the simple sweetness of the cake itself. Some people apparently REALLY like frosting so this maybe your cup of tea, but for those of us without the major sweet tooth, leave about 1/4th of the frosting behind and you'll be fine. This sweet frosting explosion gets significantly worse when its chocolate frosting which they pile on very readily. The cake is so good i overlook the fact they put so much frosting considering how easy it is to just put some aside.

Kathy suggested we ask for a discount and request less frosting and save them money! Look at how kind we are!

The next one we ate was the vanilla chocolate cupcake. Borboun vanilla with milk chocolate cream cheese. Once again, super sweet frosting (easily wiped off) but with an amazingly incricate cake.

You could taste the vanilla, its within every bite just lingering there lightly tapping your taste buds but there's another flavor there that's hidden and casually strikes! (i assume its the Borboun flavoring). This was good, not quite as good as the red velvet but it still does a great job. Once again which seems to be a very common characteristic of the cupcakes here, SUPER moist.

Quick picture of the dozen

So the question i asked myself and Kathy was... were these cupcakes really worth 3.25? We figured we would probably pay about 2.50 maybe a lil more.. if you end up buying a dozen you get them for 3$ a piece. Now my not wanting to pay 3.25 for them doesn't mean they aren't the best cupcakes i've ever had (other than the chocolate chip cupcake/muffins kathy baked me before) because they are the best cupcakes i've ever bought, i just can't fathom spending that much money on something i finish in a few bites.

I still suggest these cupcakes to you. I mean.. even though i didn't love the price i still ended up buying 15 of them haha.

p.s. Side story: while in the La Salsa next door, these two stuck up blonde girls were commenting about the line in fromt of Sprinkles
Blonde 1 (b1): I can't understand why there are so many people there, the cupcakes aren't even that good
b2: yeah that's stupid
b1: i could make better ones from the cupcake mix at the market

Yeah.... sure........ This was right before b1 saying to the cashier "um.. excuse me i dont want the worker touching my food with their barehands they need to put on a glove that's just not sanitary". I hope she knows that in her stupid little pretenious world, no one uses gloves while working with food haha.

Anyways! side story aside, go try a cupcake or two and see what the craze is all about! You won't be disappointed! (that is if you can find parking)

9635 little Santa Monica Blvd.
Beverly hills, California


Lotus said...

Ooh, those sound so good! I'm not a huge fan of frosting either and it looked VERY thick. I'd love to try the red velvet cupcake. Glad the wait was worth it, even if the price was iffy.

Curtis said...

YEAHHHHH! Strawberry cupcake :P

Curtis said...

Great pictures too, I never had any idea how the place looked or anything. I like that picture where it says something like, "Keep this door closed, it helps maintain the freshness of our cupcakes." hahaha

Anonymous said...

I wish I had a strawberry cupcake :o(

Charlie Fu said...

lotus: well worth the wait, especially for a first try!

curtis: yahhhh go strawberry

anonymous: maybe one day you'll have a boyfriend that is gracious enough to drive in traffic down the 10 freeway while you sleep soundly to buy a strawberry cupcake or two. Who knows

caroline said...

Hey, I always thought frosting was the best part of the cake/cupcake. At least that's what my 3-year-old tells me.


pinkamoeba said...

I tasted 5 cupcakes from Sprinkles and only enjoyed Red Velvet and Banana w/ Vanilla frosting. The Strawberry cupcake is awful. Stay away. The strawberry flavor is only in the frosting and the cake underneath is plain vanilla cake (despite the website description) and wasn't even good. I had a chocolate cupcake but can't remember what it was called. It doesn't look like the one in your photo but it was incredibly dry. The coconut cupcake was waaaaay too sweet and the cake and had an odd floury taste.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Look at that line! Look at those cakes! I might even be tempted to wait in line, but no way in driving to LA. Charlie, get those guys to open shop here in SD please. Tell'em San Diegans are willing to pay $4 for frosting filled cupcakes from Bread & Cie. So, there is demand.

Charlie Fu said...

PinkAmoeba: Odd, for me the cake was actually strawberry. I rarely eat the frosting so i really get the full flavor of the strawberry cupcake.

Caroline: Your child is not the only one that loves the frosting, so do 24 year old Law students