Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cream Cycle

This post has been a while in the making. I tried Cream Cycle's  mexican jalapeño chocolate ice cream sandwich about a month back when I discovered the DC Meet Market in the Logan Circle neighborhood (it's on again this weekend, Saturday June 1st!), and I have not been able to forget about it since. 

The serious problem I am facing here is that their ice cream sandwiches are "hard to get", in the truest sense of the expression, as this small business is just starting and they randomly pop up at events around DC. The only place where you can find their products for sure any day of the week is Smucker Farms, located in proximity to the U street corridor on 14th. 

The creative mind behind Cream Cycle is Carlos Delgado, a young Peruvian Executive Chef currently overseeing two restaurants at the Westin in Foggy Bottom. He adopted the concept of selling ice cream on bicycles from the streets of Lima, giving it his very own signature twist. 

Delogado's ice cream sandwiches are not only delivered in style by a fleet of baby-blue, vintage custom designed tricycles (it's clever, really, since these are a lot cuter and cheaper to operate than food trucks), but they also come in a wide range of exciting flavors. Only two kinds were sold at the market, but when I had a look at their website later that day I almost drooled all over my keyboard:  Cereal milk. Salted lime. Nutella white chocolate. Banana java habanero. And, now brace yourselves, Bacon and Olive. 

Luckily, my relatively new Twitter account keeps me updated about Cream Cycle appearances around town. They are irregular though, and I hope they will either open their own store-front at some point or start weekly schedules just like the average food truck. 

I am not just saying that. I really really can't wait to try their other flavors. The mexican jalapeño chocolate left me in awe. It had an interesting consistency. - Even though it was a hot afternoon, the ice cream at no point threatened to melt and drip all over my fingers. The fact that it wasn't really creamy but rather sorbet-like helped maintain its round shape. The cookies were thin and neither to crispy nor too soft, just perfect to hold a big ice cream portion and complement its taste. 

About the taste: I was a bit worried that it was going to be too spicy, since I am a weakling when it comes to hot Indian or Mexican dishes. Then again, you might think "Seriously, how can ice cream be spicy? It's cold after all!" And that's exactly what makes this sandwich so intriguing. It's refreshing and hot at the same time. Your throat burns but the ice cream cools it down. It is the strangest of sensations.

I must have looked weird, standing in a small corner next to one of the tents, taking bite after bite and lovingly staring at my ice cream sandwich. Some of the other vendors actually asked me about it because they had noticed a number of people walking past with similar sandwiches in their hands. Maybe it blew their minds just like it blew mine.

Further information on Cream Cycle (and much better pictures) can be found right here.

Brownie Points: 3 out of 3

Monday, May 27, 2013

Serendipity 3

The original Serendipity 3 is located in Manhattan's upper east side in New York and has been featured in several films, most noticeably in the 2001 romantic comedy "Serendipity". Remember how the couple shares dessert at the restaurant after coincidentally meeting earlier that day? Awww. The restaurant was named after the three princes of the island Serendip (now Sri Lanka), even though the definition of serendipity plays a significant role as well: "The art of finding the pleasantly unexpected by chance or sagacity". 

Its Georgetown location was opened not too long ago on Memorial Day 2011, and while the ambiance is slightly less intimate and cozy than what is portrayed on pictures of the NY restaurant, its interior is clearly inspired by the original, with playful details, colorful glass lamps and a giant Abraham Lincoln wall sculpture by the entrance.

Serendipity's specialty is the "frrrozen hot chocolate". Google it and you will find hundreds of pictures, recipes, magazine articles and even a book called "Sweet Serendipity". Believe it or not, the last time I was there I was not aware of this and ordered something savory. The Tex-Mex Mucho Macho Salad made history in my book as the unhealthiest and heaviest salad I have ever had. Lesson learned: Come here only for dessert. If I over-indulge, I want it to be in something sweet.

The restaurant holds the Guinness book world record for the most expensive dessert, the $1,000 Golden Opulence. No, this does not include fancy give-aways. It is an edible, and therefore short-lived expensive pleasure. This is something I would have expected from a place in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. And I could imagine that it would be a lot more popular over there, too! Here is a video of how they make it. Beautiful. And it includes a small dish of dessert caviar, infused with passion fruit, orange and Armagnac. Who knew such a thing even existed?

Ok I am getting off-topic here. Obviously my friend and I are cost-conscious students (sounds better than "poor") and, if we actually had the money, would be better off buying a cupcake each day for a year than spend it on one dessert. Today, we therefore went with a Black 'N White sundae and a regular frozen hot chocolate. They offer many varieties of the frozen hot chocolate, including peanut butter, white chocolate, and Oreo, but since I had never tried it before I thought that the classic should be my first. What intrigued my friend about the Black 'N White sundae was the promise of a "tuxedo strawberry". It got her so excited, I think they could have brought out the worst-tasting ice cream of all time and she would have still been delighted as long as the strawberry looked cute. 

Luckily, the ice cream wasn't horrible, and the strawberry really did look cute. My friend is a self-proclaimed chocolate ice cream snob, and was very happy about the flavor of her sundae. Given the quirky decor and Alice-in-Wonderland-type atmosphere in the restaurant, I expected a more extravagant presentation though. Apart from the tuxedo strawberry, it looked like something I could have created at home: Chocolate and vanilla ice cream thrown together with lots of whipped cream, white and dark chocolate fudge and marshmallow cream. There's a lot of "cream" in this description, which can only mean one thing. When you come here, don't even start counting calories. It will do you no good. You are either in, or you're out. Needless to say, we were in 100 percent.

My frozen hot chocolate tasted exactly like my friend's chocolate ice cream; it was simply a little more liquid. Topped with a generous amount of whipped cream and chocolate shards, it was served in a huge glass bowl and could have easily satisfied two people. I hadn't had lunch though, so this was an entire meal for me. According to Oprah, the frozen hot chocolate consist of nothing more than small, melted pieces of chocolate, hot chocolate mix, sugar, milk and whipped cream. And if Oprah says she got the recipe from the restaurant itself, then who am I not to believe her? It is really quite sweet and I could taste that it was made from a hot chocolate mix rather than rich dark chocolate. This surely isn't everyone's favorite. In my family, for example, regular hot chocolate mix is banned from the house and all we drink on cold winter nights are good-quality dark chocolate flakes melted in whole milk. My mum's motto is: If you do it, do it right!

Yeah... I guess Serendipity's frozen hot chocolate doesn't really compete with the hot chocolate drinks I am used to and those I have had in places like Paris, Vienna, or, just recently, Barcelona. But what makes it special is the ambiance of the restaurant you enjoy it in, the fact that people travel far to try this signature item, and the challenge of finishing one all by yourself. - The waiter actually wished us "Good Luck" when he served our order. Don't question our passion for dessert; of course we finished it all!

The service was prompt and neither remarkably friendly nor unfriendly. They gave us nice bar seats, offered us iced water, took our order, brought the food within a very short time frame... and flirted with my friend. Ignoring the fact that this guy spoke to her as if I was not even present I guess you could say that it made for a personalized experience.

Brownie Points for the frozen hot chocolate: 2 out of 3
Brownie Points for the Black 'N White sundae: 1 out of 3

Serendipity 3 on Urbanspoon

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Recipe: Brigadeiros

Brigadeiros have been among my favorite desserts ever since an exchange student from Brazil made them for her farewell party in high school. It's been about... 10 years now. And how often have I eaten them since? Only once or twice, when I was actually in Brazil.

The reason for this is that brigadeiros aren't well-known outside the country. What a shame that the rest of the world is missing out on soft, chocolate-sprinkle-covered fudge balls made from evaporated milk and cocoa!

I haven't been able to find restaurants or shops that sell them, and until recently I was not confident enough in my cooking and baking skills to attempt to make them myself. The recipe is quite simple though, with very few ingredients and steps. So, today I made brigadeiros for the first time. -  And they turned out perfect! I am so excited, because it means that I no longer depend on anyone else to satisfy my cravings. Maybe one or two of you are curious enough to give the following recipe a try as well?

All you need is:

- 1 can condensed milk (14 oz)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- chocolate sprinkles
- a big pan
- a wooden spoon
- two bowls
- baking cups

First, melt the butter in the pan over medium heat. Stirring, add the entire can of condensed milk and the cocoa powder. One website offered great advice saying that it's better to first mix the cocoa powder with water, as the powder does not dissolve well in the evaporated milk/butter mixture. 

Do not leave the stove and do not stop stirring, otherwise the mixture will burn. Keep the heat on medium-low as it thickens. This process took 8-10 minutes for me, but it might take a lot longer depending on the type of pan you are using. 

The most critical decision you need to make is when to take the mixture off the stove. If you take it off too early, you will end up with a thick chocolate sauce that cannot be molded. If you take it off too late, the brigadeiros will be hard or chewy. The mixture is done when a) you divide it with your spoon and it remains divided for a moment, i.e. your spoon leaves a trail in the pan, or when b) you scoop up some of the mixture, turn the spoon upside down, and it sticks to the spoon for a moment before falling back into the pan.

Now transfer the mixture into a bowl, let it cool down to room temperature, and put it in the fridge for about one hour.

Once the mixture has cooled, scoop out small portions with a tablespoon and mold them with your hands. This is easier if you apply some butter to your hands before. Once you have shaped a small ball, roll it in the chocolate sprinkles (in a second bowl) and make sure it is covered all over. You might have to continue shaping it a little, especially as the mixture gets warmer. Finally, place it in one of the baking cups.

The recipe makes about 20 small or 10 big brigadeiros. They keep up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

This website provides you with more background information (for example on where the name came from), and has a great video showing you the entire process of making the brigadeiros with detailed explanations. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

San Francisco Edition: American Cupcake

So here I go with yet another cupcake review. It's not my fault, really. If there are so many cupcake shops all around the U.S. that means people love eating them, and it probably means they want to hear about the best and worst places to get the best and worst flavors. No? I most definitely enjoy trying out all these different places, and when I discovered American Cupcake during an afternoon of wandering around Union Street - starving! - I couldn't help but marvel at their display of bright, multicolored treats.

American Cupcake oddly sell desserts along with red velvet fried chicken (I only read about this later and kicked myself for missing out on such a creative dish), burgers, bite-sized snack food, several kinds of PB & J sandwiches and - now this gets really interesting - alcohol. Yes, guests can choose from a menu of "cupcake flights", each pairing three different cupcakes with wines.

You can tell: This is unlike any other cupcake place you have ever been to or heard of. And the interior sends the same message. Even though I arrived around lunch time, it was dark inside the store. Pink, blue and neon green bulbs hang from the ceiling, and the little light they give off creates a nightclub atmosphere. Walls and all furniture are white and look like plastic. I felt like I just entered some kind of disco spaceship! The fact that there was nobody else but two employees and myself made the experience even stranger.

Nevertheless, the situation was not uncomfortable - mostly thanks to the naturally friendly and hospitable girl who helped me pick out a flavor and talked to me as if I were a good friend she hadn't seen in a while. Of course I had to go for one of their really extraordinary cupcake creations, which I knew I was not likely to get anywhere else: Cotton Candy. I could have opted for Bubble Gum or Pink Candy Popcorn as well, but this one was decorated with a tiny stick of cotton candy and the frosting had such a fun, pastel-green color.

Aside from the presentation, the cupcake actually tasted good. I was almost a little surprised because I expected it to be overly sweet with an artificial taste, given its color and all. Instead, it had an authentic cotton candy flavor, not too strong and not to subtle, which I enjoyed so much that I would have gladly eaten a second one. The cake was slightly too dense, but for some reason it worked well with the buttery frosting. So yes, it was a rather heavy cupcake, but a very enjoyable one, and one that I would gladly recommend. Don't eat the mini-cotton candy though... I have no idea how old mine was, but judging by the fact that it was hard and dry it could have been from last year. 

If I lived in the SF area I would definitely go back to give their other flavors a try. And who knows, the atmosphere might be so much more fitting in the evenings, when you go for drinks and cupcakes with your best friends or significant other. No matter whether you like their concept or not, American Cupcake create a truly out-of-the-box experience.

Brownie Points: 2 out of 3

American Cupcake on Urbanspoon

Friday, May 17, 2013

San Francisco Edition: Tout Sweet

This might be one of the fanciest dessert spots I have been to. Located inside Macy's right across from Union Square, with picture-perfect views of downtown San Francisco, and colorful displays of beautifully packaged pastries, cookies, dessert sauces, jams and whatnot all around the store, Tout Sweet looks stylish and expensive. When I arrived they seemed to have some sort of promotional event taking place because it was very busy and - if I'm not mistaken - a handsome young guy looked very much like the one on the poster by the entrance, Tout Sweet's owner Yigit Pura.

Yigit Pura is the winner of season 1 of "Top Chef Just Desserts". Born in Turkey, he started his professional culinary training in San Francisco and later worked in New York City as well as Las Vegas, before joining the TV show and taking the title. I didn't know all of this at the time, but Tout Sweet is his very first own store and therefore kind of a big deal. The fact that the rather small space was so full of people caught my attention, so I entered to have a quick bite before continuing my sightseeing. Actually, sitting by the window inside Macy's in San Francisco and eating something you have never had before counts as sightseeing in my world. So I did. 

The store design is all sharp edges, sparkling white walls and furniture, colorful shelves, and glass. It almost seemed a little futuristic and intimidating to me, and I immediately wondered what I looked like and if I was appropriately dressed to fit in. Also, don't forget that you are eating calorie bombs right next to size zero womens' clothing, so you better feel very comfortable about your figure and don't plan to overindulge. Not my favorite kind of place, but it obviously has a very specific target clientele and the style matches the prices they ask for. 

That being said, the food is gorgeous! Some of the pastries they sell look like small pieces of art; I would have felt uncomfortable destroying them with my fork. You can definitely make out the chef's preference for minimalistic design, as most desserts have only little decoration, and at the same time his love for color and floral themes, which are represented in the take-home food items and the store's logo.

A friend of mine once posted a picture of a vanilla bean crêpe cake she had in New York on facebook, and I have been waiting for my chance to try one ever since. Here was my chance: Pura's version is called "Mille Crêpes" and is basically a huge cake made up of layered thin crepes and orange flower water scented vanilla custard (I know - that is a long, complicated description). They brulée the crêpe on top to make it look crunchy. When I asked for a piece, the lady behind the counter took quite a while to cut it and put it on a plate, and I can imagine that it must be difficult to keep the cake intact with all these layers. It made me feel good though because it confirmed that this is definitely not a dessert I could try to make at home. It's worth paying 6 Dollars for.

So I took my sweet time enjoying it. The custard was rich with a strong orange note, the crêpes were obviously not crunchy anymore but had the consistency of soft pancakes. It did not taste too sweet, which I appreciated, because the portion is really quite big for one person and it could have easily given me a sugar shock for the rest of the day. I still think the atmosphere was not cozy at all, even though Tout Sweet only seats 20 guests at a time, and there is a long, communal table in the middle of the room inviting people to interact with other guests while they eat. Nobody went near it during the time I spent there.

I would go back to try some of the other patisserie items (the "5th Element" looked outstanding), and maybe I'd even sit there if I could get a table by the window. But taking the food home and eating it at my very own dining table (or in a bathrobe on the hotel bed) would still be my first choice. 

Brownie Points: 2 out of 3

Thursday, May 16, 2013

San Francisco Edition: Kara's Cupcakes

Another stop on my self-organized dessert tour through San Francisco was at Ghirardelli Square. You might think that the main attraction there is chocolate, considering they have three different Ghirardelli chocolate and ice cream shops within a radius of less than 100 meters. Even I was a little stunned by the amount of sugar that was being sold in this place... and given away for free: Everytime you entered one of the stores you got a caramel chocolate square as a "welcome gift". Believe it or not, I did not purchase anything. I spent my money at nearby Kara's Cupcakes instead.

The interior of the store is bright pink, obviously catering to a female clientele. Since there are practically no walls but only windows surrounding the counter and the incredibly cheerful girl working behind it, Kara's Cupcakes looks very inviting as soon as you enter the square. They have a few tables and chairs outside for people to enjoy the sun while they dig into their baked goods, which is nice especially on days when it's not too busy and you can watch families, children and couples gather around  the fountain.

I originally only entered to look around and admire the super cute presentation of their cupcakes, but who was I kidding - of course I had to try one. Especially after the girl started a conversation with me and encouraged me to take pictures. No awkward moment of "Hmmm is it ok to take my camera out? Will they think I am weird, like I have never seen cupcakes before? Or like I am taking this way to seriously and am going to blog about it later on?". Thankfully we skipped that! 

The variety is big, but in terms of flavors I didn't feel like they offered anything extraordinary. The classic red velvet and carrot cake looked most appealing to be honest, but then again I was in an experimental/vacation mood and thought that chocolate velvet sounded interesting. It looked like a giant brigadeiro (a more-than-amazing dessert from Brazil) and I imagined it would be red on the inside. Much like a pairing of red velvet cake and dark chocolate frosting, instead of the cream cheese frosting that usually goes with it. Yeah, that was my imagination. It ended up simply being a chocolate cupcake with a "velvety bittersweet chocolate buttercream". Don't get me wrong, it was nice and the frosting really was velvety. But all this chocolate was just too much for my taste. The cake in itself was fluffy and light, so I ended up scraping off much of the frosting and just ate the cake. Made me feel less guilty about the calories and was sort of satisfying. Still, this was the first time I did not eat all of the frosting, usually that's my favorite part!

Overall I enjoyed the way the store was designed, as well as the friendly service. But the cupcake failed to impress.

Brownie Points: 1 out of 3

Kara's Cupcakes on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

San Francisco Edition: Loving Cup

My recent trip to the West Coast did - naturally - lead me to great food and particularly desserts. I admit that I had done my research in advance and knew of a few places that were worth checking out, but I came across a few unexpected gems as well and can't wait to tell you about them.

While I wouldn't say that San Francisco has a better or larger variety of sweets on offer than Washington DC, atmosphere does makes a difference. And eating a cup of rice pudding on the grass, the sun in your back, with a view of the ocean and the pier is priceless. That is what I did. On my way to Fisherman's Wharf I stopped by Loving Cup, a small café on Polk Street that was just recently featured on 7x7 magazine's "50 treats to eat in SF before you die" list for its coconut rice pudding. So yes, I got the coconut rice pudding! And some of the lemon vanilla rice pudding as well. After all, who knew if I was going to ever return.

I was a tiny bit underwhelmed by the coconut rice pudding because it just didn't have much flavor. The consistency was great. thick and creamy and mixed with coconut shavings, but I just wished it would have tasted more "tropical", more fresh and - well - coconutty (yes, I am making this word up and you can't stop me!). The lemon vanilla on the other hand was the ideal treat for a warm spring-but-almost-summer day: It was light and had just the right amount of sweetness, with the lemon and vanilla notes blending together nicely.

The lady in the shop was very friendly and let me try as many of the different flavors as I wanted. She said that their coconut rice pudding was the bestseller (which makes sense considering the magazine recommendation), but the girl I stayed with also spoke highly of their cinnamon raisin. Overall, I guess you cannot go wrong with rice pudding. 

For those who really don't like it (shame on you!), Loving Cup also sells slow-churned frozen yoghurt with what seems like hundreds of toppings to choose from, as well as Blue Bottle coffee, which has been called the "Ferrari of coffee" by CNN. The Blue Bottle Coffee Company is a small, but slowly expanding, California-based coffee roaster and retailer. They also opened an outlet in New York's Rockefeller Center a short time ago, which gives me hope that they will be looking for a location in DC sometime soon.

But enough about coffee. Loving Cup has a charming interior, friendly staff, good desserts, and it is the only place I ever found that specializes in rice pudding. If your next trip takes you to San Francisco, this place is a nice option for a post-lunch sweet treat. You can walk off some of the calories as you head to the wharf!

Brownie Points for the coconut rice pudding: 1 out of 3
Brownie Points for the lemon vanilla rice pudding: 2 out of 3 

Loving Cup on Urbanspoon

Friday, May 10, 2013

Capital City Cheesecake

This is going to be a short one because I am supposed to be packing for my trip to Costa Rica in a few hours. You see, I love to procrastinate! And last weekend was another perfect example: When I actually had to study for my final exam of the semester, I spent hours walking around town, enjoying the sun, and ultimately browsing a really cute market I had heard of by coincidence.

I have Twitter to thank for introducing me to the DC Meet Market in Logan Circle. It takes place on the first Saturday of every month from April to December and showcases local businesses, artists and designers.  I guess what I liked most was its size. It really felt like a local community event, with people of all ages enjoying the food and getting great ideas for presents, clothes and decoration. They even got a Mexican mariachi band to play in anticipation of Cinco de Mayo.

I couldn't have been happier about postponing my study session, because I not only found a great gift for my boyfriend who I am finally going to see again tomorrow (long distance relationship!) but I also got to sample a few new desserts. And here is what I want you to know: If you appreciate a good cheesecake, Takoma Park apparently is where it's at!

Though I have yet to go to the physical location of Capital City Cheesecakes, the key lime cheesecake I tried at the market was divine. And the ladies at the stand were so friendly; the owners' mum gave me her personal recommendation (which I ended up not taking, but that's only because this beautiful sunny day called for a citrus flavor and she loves the salted caramel) and her daughter packaged an extra-cold mini cheesecake for me when I told her that I was planning to take it home and have it later. The way they set up their stand alone was so charming, I can't wait to see the store.

The cheesecake was creamy but not too heavy, with a very subtle lime note. A tiny slice of lime served as a decorative element on top. I am not too sure what that was actually... some sort of chewy sweet-sour candy. The mini size is great for a quick bite and doesn't make you feel guilty at all. It's a pity that the wrapper isn't made of chocolate. - Something to consider in the future, ladies?! 

I also wish the crumble at the bottom had been slightly thicker. The base had a flakey and soft consistency (which I loved!), but since it was very thin its taste became almost unnoticeable once mixed with the cream cheese. 

Some of the other flavors on their menu include cookies and cream, as well as butter pecan and mango raspberry. Definitely worth a try.

Brownie Points: 2 out of 3

Capital City Cheesecake on Urbanspoon

Saturday, May 4, 2013


DC admittedly took many months to grow on me. The first impressions were "serious" and "reserved". Driving around the city after 10 pm at night is spooky because you'll find nobody on the streets. Random people you meet brag about the many jobs and projects they are juggling at the same time, the network they are building and their knowledge about business, arts and politics. They are experts at everything and nothing. It seems like DC residents live here to work and either climb up the latter or make this world a better place. Everyone is active all the time. Does anyone ever take a moment to stop, breathe and spend some time in the park? I often feel like an outsider for saying that I am a full-time student and I like to watch movies, skype with my boyfriend, and take long walks in my free time. That about sums it up.

Passion fruit and vanilla ceviche (front) 
But I recently found common ground between "these people" and myself: We like to eat! And talk about it. And exchange restaurant recommendations. And meet up for happy hours. And spend weekends brunching and sipping mimosas and feeling lucky for living in this beautiful city. Seems like I do belong here after all.

Long story short, there is a list of places I came up with that - according to reviews - make the DC culinary scene what it is: A combination of celebrity chefs, fresh local ingredients, creativity, and diversity. And Oyamel is on this list.

This Mexican eatery is located in Penn Quarter, within walking distance from the national mall, some of the city's most popular museums, and several metro stations. Its owner, José Andrés, is a Spanish chef famous for introducing the tapas concept to the U.S. His flagship restaurant minibar serves molecular cuisine tasting menus to only 12 diners per seating, and while that surely sounds amazing, us folks with an average salary and/or student budget can't afford it. Or we'd have to live off bread and water for an entire month to make up for the cost of one reservation. 

Oyamel is a lot more down-to-earth.  Stepping into the restaurant, we immediately noticed the colorful metal butterflies on the ceilings, the open space and abundance of daylight, as well as the fact that all tables were occupied. This is what I call busy. The atmosphere was cheerful, and so was our waiter Julian, whose service was remarkably engaging while unobtrusive at the same time. Ms Tiramisu and I were in a celebratory mood for having finished our second semester of grad school, so it is needless to say that we wanted to try a little bit of everything. Since this is a dessert blog, however, I will cut right to the chase. Just so you know: Their selection of ceviches is quite big and truly unique (think passion fruit, vanilla and rose!) and you must go for the fresh guacamole, which is prepared tableside. 

For dessert, both of us ordered the tres leches. That was probably not the wisest decision in terms of writing about what Oyamel has to offer, but we knew we would start fighting over the one portion, so I chose peace over blog content. And I am kind of glad I did.

As is the case with most dishes at Oyamel, the portion was quite small, but it came surrounded by mountains of whipped cream. I could have done without this decoration to be honest (and it didn't taste special in any way either), but nothing could distract me from the cute round sponge cake soaked in milk and rum, which was topped with a scoop of delectable dark caramel ice cream. The pineapple salsa and gelatin was a nice touch and added a different, fruity fresh flavor to it. Nevertheless, I could have just eaten the cake and ice cream and felt like I was on cloud nine. The two worked very well together and were a pleasant sweet finish for a meal that consisted of interesting flavor compositions in general. 

The tres leches is also a part of Oyamel's lunch special, which comes at a very reasonable price of $20 for three courses. But be aware that the restaurant serves somewhat of a Mexican version of tapas, so three of them might not be enough if you are hungry.
Considering the amount of people they were serving for lunch on a Friday afternoon, reservations are definitely recommended.

Brownie Points for the service and atmosphere: 3 out of 3
Brownie Points for the tres leches: 2 out of 3 

Oyamel on Urbanspoon