Friday, December 11, 2009

Cube's Persimmon Pudding: What dessert should be

I wasn’t expecting it to be that good – that condensed with intoxicating flavors and textures. And I certainly didn’t think I would feel inclined to compose an entire post in its honor, or that I would still be marinating on the taste sensation nearly nine days later.

More often than not, I’m disappointed by restaurant desserts – finding them either too sweet, not sweet enough, or lacking in complexity or originality. They are “fine,” “okay,” or, worst of all, “not worth the calories” (or the subsequent Bar Method classes I have to take to compensate for them).

Yet, even with my reoccurring dissatisfaction with that last course of the evening, I can never seem to stop myself from ordering a stomach-capper. I need that sweet contrast to cleanse my palate after a savory meal – even if it means reducing myself to ordering the ubiquitous slice of unadorned NY cheesecake or an over-torched crème brulee.

At Cube restaurant, however, dessert is not just an afterthought or phoned-in effort. Pastry Chef Jun Tan crafts sweet plates that are destination-worthy – the types of affairs that elicit moans of approval from the consumer, or fork fights over the last bite.

Even with my pleasurable experience with several of Cube’s sweet offerings – including the cobbler duo, seasonal pumpkin ice cream pie, bread pudding with fresh fig compote, and a Valrhona chocolate olive oil cake, nothing could have prepared me for the warm persimmon pudding with cinnamon ice cream and salted caramel glaze that I enjoyed last Wednesday night.

It wasn’t just “good,” or even “pleasant.” It didn’t just make me moan or avoid eye contact with my dining companion lest she decide she wanted to try it. The dessert was a “Zong,” a homerun, and one of my favorite “bites” of 2009.

Jun Tan’s seasonal twist on sticky toffee pudding is everything a restaurant dessert should be – distinct, innovative, conscious of flavor profiles and textural juxtaposition, and most importantly for my tastes, incorporates both warm and cool elements. It was utterly satisfying – the perfect end note to another memorable evening at my new favorite local haunt.

Cube Café and Marketplace
615 N. La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90036
Phone: (323) 939-1148, x.1
Fax: 323-939-5520


Esi said...

I have not had enough persimmons this season..or any I don't think. Must remedy that soon. Sounds like a great dessert!

yutjangsah said...

u sell it like you own the store. i gotta try it.

The Blonde Duck said...

How do you like the bar method? I've been looking into it.

Sara said...

Sounds amazing - I've been eating persimmons almost every day, bet they'd be great in pudding form.

Jenn said...

I tried persimmons for the first time a couple days ago. Now I can't get enough of them!!! I must get me some more.

Gastronomer said...

When D falls for a dessert, she falls HARD.

I agree with Sook. You SO sell it like you own the store! Love your enthusiasm.

The Duo Dishes said...

Thanks for highlighting this. Something about the pudding didn't sound as good as the ice cream and caramel glaze, but you may have sold it.

Diana said...

Esi - I actually had never had a persimmon before this season! Not too shocking given my record, huh? ;)

Sook - Do it! And try the rest of the menu too - especially the braised bacon appetizer.

Miranda - I LOVE Bar Method! I'm completely hooked and would recommend it to anyone.

Sara - It was an amazing dessert - I think I may need to go back before I leave for the holidays! Hope you are doing well - I've so missed your recipes!

Jenn - Me too! I am so glad I discovered them this year! :)

Cathy - You should see how I am when I fall for a guy! Like dessert, but 10x worse!

Crystal & Amir - It really is wonderful -- if you like sticky toffee pudding, you will LOVE this dessert!