Thank you, Kizito Cookies, for letting me try out your cookies after I was done with Shaun T's Insanity program! I got sent half a dozen cookies AND A BROWNIE last week. Insanity is just that -- insane -- and I freaking DESERVED six cookies after two months of high intensity cardio training. But hey, my friends and family benefited too! First we went tried-and-true  chocolate chip: Kizito-chocolate-chip-cookie-wrapper     Kizito-chocolate-chip-cookie as you can see, these cookies are huge, even covering my hand. They are on the thin side: Kizito-chocolate-chip-cookie-side As we ate the cookie, my younger sister told me Kizito's story of being born under a banana tree in Uganda (way cooler than being born at a hospital that is now a Chinese supermarket) and then adapting her father's business sense to start her cookie business in Louisville, KY. These cookies were polarizing: younger sister didn't care too much for it -- she said they were too flat, dry, and hard -- but my mom LOVED it and asked for more. Next, nutty chocolate chip: Kizito-nutty-chocolate-chip-cookie-wrapper     Kizito-nutty-chocolate-chip-cookie I thought this cookie was going to be more nutty. It had 3-4 big chunks and whole pieces of walnuts and maybe one other nut but other than that, if you didn't get a piece with a nut on it, it was a normal chocolate chip cookie. Not surprisingly my mom still liked it, but I would have liked it more if it had more nuts. Maybe smaller pieces but definitely more spread out. Then we ate snickerdoodle which was my favorite from this group: Kizito-snickerdoodle-wrapper     Kizito-snickerdoodle     Kizito-snickerdoodle-side This one was not too sweet, had a LOT of cinnamon, and was soft and chewy. My boyfriend and I had the pecans cookie on our way to the I am 8 Bit Gallery: Kizito-pecans-cookie-wrapper     Kizito-pecans-cookie This one, just like the nutty chocolate chip one, had big chunks of nuts on it but was otherwise a chocolate chip cookie. There were times I felt like I was just eating a chocolate chip cookie. My boyfriend wanted more chocolate chips, as some of the pieces I gave to him were just cookie without nuts or chocolate chips. Here's the peanut butter cookie: Kizito-peanut-butter-cookie-wrapper     Kizito-peanut-butter-cookie   The peanut butter cookie had enough peanut butter to taste peanut buttery, but the taste wasn't overpowering. The texture and quality of this cookie was the same as the other cookies: kind of crunchy and crumbly. I had the brownie at work: Kizito-brownie-wrapper It was soft, chewy, and chocolatey, and the chocolate chips in the brownie really made the brownie. Overall, no one I gave the cookies to was too excited about these cookies, except for my mom which is surprising because she isn't so easy to please. I think we would enjoy them more if they were a bit thicker, were more moist, and if the nut cookies had way more nuts in them. While Yelp has nothing but raves for Kizito Cookies, I"m afraid it was nothing more than an average cookie for us over here. PS -- if you were wondering where the 6th cookie was, it was oatmeal. Kizito Cookies 1398 Bardstown Rd Louisville, KY 40204 FREE SHIPPING!
  • Taste: Nothing too special in our opinion. 6
  • Crust and Center moistness: A little on the dry and crumbly side, but not so much that it takes away from the cookie.
  • Value: $2 for a cookie bigger than the size of your hand + FREE SHIPPING! (as advertised on their site). Great value!!
  • Overall: If I were in Louisville, I might stop by this bakery if I happened to come across it. However, this would not be my go-to choice for cookie orders due to the choices I have available. 6
 
That's "mah-kah-flem-oouuunns." Bottega Louie is one of those places I had heard about time and time again, and I FINALLY went. They sell regular food here, but you know I'm always meh about regular food and YYEEESSSSS about dessert. I'll cut to the chase since I'm a bit short on time. Pictures and overall thoughts: These are good macarons and I love their massive selection. They are not the best, but I've had way way worse. These rank above average for me: they taste yummy, they are delicately crunchy on the outside, and soft and spongy on the inside (no massive pockets of hollow nothingness to disappoint me). The part that kills it is the price point. $2.50 for one. What also annoys me is their price points on their online menu: 4 for $10 / 8 for $20 / 12 for $30. Why not just say 1 for $2.50?? I see through your attempt to make me buy 4 or 8 or 12! Also, the box fits 5 perfectly so shouldn't they be in multiples of 5? Well I guess their (and other bakeries') data may show otherwise. $2.75 gets you one macaron at Laduree in New York and those are THE BEST macarons I've ever had. If you're in downtown, you might as well go to 'lette in Little Tokyo; they taste better and are $0.75 cheaper. I'm aware of the potential for yelling here, seeing as how Bottega Louie has quite the following. Bottega Louie 700 South Grand Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90017
I knew I needed to update my blog!! So I told myself I'd update it after work on Friday. The problem was I leave work at 6 and many bakeries close at 6. I found out that Angel Maid Bakery, a bakery close to my home that I've been wanting to visit, didn't close until 7. I also have been trying to work out more, so I made myself a deal: make it to Angel Maid before it closes and I can eat a cookie. Oh man, I suck so bad at running. But I made it with a little more than 5 minutes to spare!!! They were out of almost everything by the time I got there. I asked how much the box of chocolate chip cookies were and it was $7.50. I only had $4. I almost grabbed a peanut butter cookie for $2ish, until I SAW THIS!!!!: That was a no-brainer FOR SURE! It was just under $4. I had previously planned on running back, but... yeah that didn't happen. Well I didn't want to mess up the cookie!!! :D On the way back, I saw a gentleman struggling with full hands trying to open his trunk. I helped and then he, seeing my cookie, asked if it was my birthday. I sheepishly replied, "no... I just like cookies!" The small chocolate chip cookie (on the mouth there) was really crunchy and had a great ratio of chocolate chips to cookie. It fulfills the need for a cookie, but it's not my favorite; I would rank it above average but not perfect because of how crunchy it is (I prefer a more moist, soft cookie). The softness was found in the ginger cookie. I actually don't love ginger cookies but I liked this one!! It was thick, soft and chewy. The sprinkles gave it some yummy crunch, and the layer of frosting that glued the sprinkles to the cookie provided an extra measure of sweetness. Alone, the cookie was nice and full of spices -- I think I would actually still eat this cookie without the sprinkles, which is surprising because most ginger cookies are bland. I'm going to stop by Angel Maid again! Must try more cookies... actually, they're known for their cakes. And now, this cookie. Oh, and I didn't eat the eyes, they are very hard and I can't tell if it's made with anything gelatin-y. Angel Maid Bakery 4542 S Centinela Ave Los Angeles, CA 90066 (310) 915-2078 Tue-Thu 8 am - 6:30 pm Fri-Sat 8 am - 7 pm Sun 8 am - 12 pm
  • Taste: so good! 10
  • Crust and Center moistness: Chocolate chip cookie was crunchy; ginger cookie was soft.
  • Value: $7.50 for a box of small chocolate chip cookies and $3.50 for the iced ginger. I think that's ok, given the size and decorations.
  • Overall: A must try even if you don't like ginger cookies. Or if you have a birthday party to attend :)
 
Some of you may remember my previous Kukees blog post. Well, I got more sent to me just in time for the holidays! Here are the four flavors that come in this box:
  • Gingerbread Chocolate
  • Pumpkin White Chocolate
  • Turtle Kukee
  • Cranberry Orange Zest with White Chips
My boyfriend is so lucky I blog about cookies. He always gets to taste what I get! I think he just wants me for my cookies... There is an entire second layer of cookies under this for a total of 12 cookies. I gave the boyfriend a rundown of all the flava-flavs and I couldn't decide between pumpkin and turtle (because I love pumpkin and I love turtles, second to ducks). He didn't know what turtle but he was completely sold after I said, "caramel, milk chocolate, and pecans" from the Kukees web site. Turtle Kukee: (I also like penguins too) Pumpkin White Chocolate Kukee: They were both VERY good. Out of the four, these two were my favorite, with the pumpkin edging out the turtle by a small margin. Here is the cranberry white chocolate cookie: The gingerbread chocolate got away from me before I could take a picture! The gingerbread chocolate one was a close second-place tie with the turtle because it has dark chocolate. I love the fall and winter flavors! In each cookie, you were sure to get a bite full of all the toppings, and they all taste distinctly different. My beef with these cookies is the oatmeal-y flavor and texture you get in all of the cookies! In some of the cookies, the oatmeal taste and texture was not as apparent, such as in the pumpkin and turtle (coincidence that they were my favorite...?). They were a little smaller than the kukees from the mix-it pack, but I was totally fine with that, because I remember eating those cookies and thinking they were too big. Kukees (pronounced “cookies”) You can order their cookies online on the Kukees website. For a huge discount, go to kukees.com/fbpromo!
  • Taste: I actually liked these more than the regular mix-it pack, but the oatmeal just doesn't do it for me. 7
  • Crust and Center moistness: Crunchy on the outside, still crunchy, but less so, in the middle.
  • Value: $49 for a dozen of single flavor or 2 flavors or 6 flavors. The Biti-Bites box comes with 36 cookies at 1/3 the size each for the same price! 2-day shipping ranges from about $10 if you’re in Los Angeles. With the discount, it makes it significantly more worth it. 8
  • Overall: If you would like a unique gift for someone that is still "safe," I'd recommend the holiday pack. I think they toned down the size and the oatmeal-y-ness, which would make it more universally appreciated. 8
I had SO MANY cookies when I was in NY last month! When I went to NY in 2010, I did my first Jacques Torres cookie review. Here's my second! Last time, I was taken to the original Jacques Torres location which is in Brooklyn. I have a horrible sense of direction, and I don't pick up geography that well. I didn't know that there were 5 locations! I just entered "Jacques Torres" in Google maps and ended up going to one of the Manhattan locations. I was a little sad I didn't go back to the full-fledged store, but it's okay -- this Jacques Torres shop was in Rockefeller Plaza. I had the worst time finding it. I ended up asking a USPS worker on the way to delivering mail where Jacques Torres was. Here was the moment of glory (well, besides eating the actual cookie): Their shelves are stocked to the ceiling with chocolates! Armando and I got a spiced hot chocolate + a mudslide cookie. The mudslide cookie is a "deep, rich dark chocolate cookie with chocolate chunks & walnuts." I had the person behind the register warm the cookie up for me so I'm so sorry it looks sloppy! It got everywhere! But it was SO GOOD! It was indeed messy, though, but that's the cost of... ...so I'll take it. The cookie lived up to its name -- it's rich and decadent. I loved this cookie. It's chocolatey and it's gooey -- what more could you ask for? I think I loved the chocolate chip cookie slightly more because this was so rich (and it was a LOT of cookie), but I could definitely eat both in one sitting :)
  • Taste: 9 for both
  • Crust and center moistness: Soft and gooey
  • Value: $3.00, up from $2.50 in 2010 (or maybe the price increase is due to the location?). Kind of sucks, but they use Valhrona chocolate, and quality chocolate really makes a difference. 8
  • Overall: I am always going to make a stop at Jacques Torres when I'm in NY. I wish I got chocolates too. He is so famous in the desserts world. All that chocolatier-ing he does so well. 9!
Jacques Torres 30 Rockefeller Plaza Concourse Level New York, NY 10112 Monday - Friday: 8:30am to 8:00pm Saturday: 10:00am to 6:00pm Sunday: 10:00am to 6:00pm
To continue on my recent DC trip, my next blog post features cookies from a YUMMY restaurant called Founding Farmers in Potomac, MD. The food there was DELICIOUS and the restaurants are owned by a collective of family farms. The restaurants focus on being green, even being LEED certified ("constructed and created with a minimum of impact on the environment") and printing their menus with soy-based ink on recycled paper and such. Now to get to the important part: the COOKIES of course! Here's just a section of their dessert menu: No contest. Cookies were ordered. The bottom right is a macaroon, which is all coconut, so I gave it away. The other four I gobbled up :) Here are individual pictures: Sugar Cookie Chocolate chip Snickerdoodle Peanut butter Since the cookies come as a plate, I'll kind of review them all together. The cookies overall were good. Nothing way too special (but then again you don't come here for just the dessert). I did note that these were not too sweet; in fact, they are less sweet than the traditional cookies. Speaking of traditional, the snickerdoodle cookie is darker than traditional cinnamon sugar cookies, and I'll have to say this one had the biggest difference between expected sweetness and actual sweetness for me. I also have to mention that one thing I loved about the chocolate chip cookie is the layers of chocolate: The layers of splotches of chocolate was assurance that I would get a chocolate with every bite, which I always appreciate.
Founding Farmers 12505 Park Potomac Avenue At Rt. 270 & Montrose Rd. West Potomac, MD 20854
Sunday - Monday: 7am - 10pm Tuesday - Thursday: 7am - 11pm Friday: 7am - 12am Saturday: 9am - 12am
  • Taste: Meh. 7
  • Crust and Center Moistness: Most of the cookies were crunchy; the chocolate chip cookie was actually moist and soft.
  • Value: $5 for 5 cookies plated in a restaurant. Good value!
  • Overall: While it's a good value, I would suggest trying another dessert. You can get equivalent cookies somewhere else. If you are a family and all the kids want something of their own, then this would be a good choice.
I was in Washington, DC earlier this month and my host gave a recommendation for a vegan bakery near her apartment. I made it a point to go! The place is called Sticky Fingers and they also serve lunch food. But who cares about that? Here are their cookie selections:
Cowvin Cookie $3.25 vanilla cream filled oatmeal cookie sandwich Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip $2.75 Cookies $1.99 choose between chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, pecan, or sweet & salty
I was tempted to try the gluten-free, but decided against it because it was more expensive and I was afraid it would suck. I opted for the sweet & salty. It was quite huge. It actually tastes close to a non-vegan cookie! It was appropriately crunchy and, very importantly, salty. Salt evenly across the surface; not too much or too little. The chocolate chips were soft and gooey (could use more) and this texture was complemented by nuts -- no, they are actually oats! I was horrified for a second but they were sparse and crunchy, not soft and grainy and they don't stick to your teeth. My lunch mate Vero passed on the cookie, as she thought the cookie is on the dry side. So, overall, yummy, but definitely needs more chocolate. In non-cookie news, Vero got the chocolate raspberry cupcake. They won Food Network's Cupcake Wars two times , so they kind of promised us an awesome cupcake. Veronica's observations are that separately, the cupcake and the frosting taste good, but 1+1=3 here -- she really loved the cupcake! I have a very low tolerance for things that are tart and raspberry is too tart for me to enjoy almost anything raspberry. Sticky Fingers 1370 Park Rd NW Washington DC 20010 (202) 299-9700
  • Taste: 8
  • Crust and Center Moistness: On the dry side. It could have been softer. 6
  • Value: $1.99 for a big vegan cookie. You get your dollars' worth.
  • Overall: I vote yes! 8
I had a very sweet stalker email me about some cookies called Kukees. She recommended I get the mixed pack so I could get a taste of all of them and give the oatmeal raisin ones away, and when I told her I was having a couple of parties that weekend she sent them to me as soon as she could so I would receive them in time! First, the packaging box that holds the box of cookies (Russian box set? Box within a box? Box Inception?) is PINK!!! Pink. And the box holding the precious cookies is very well packed: The box itself isn't pink; it's mostly brown. But that's okay, because of how cool it looks with its pretty bow and fancy drawers: [cookies box turned future hair accessories and jewelry box] It's definitely a nice presentation. Every time someone saw the box, that person was in awe of how pretty it looked and was immediately drawn in. Secondly, the unique shape of these cookies also had people wondering and interested. They're not flat and circular like normal cookies. Each cookie has a peak, like a pyramid. Armando chose his cookie first, the Triple Raisin Oatmeal, because he knew I wouldn't like that one :) You can see from the pictures above that the cookies aren't shaped like discs like traditional cookies are. These are tall and more pyramid-y: It's not too evident here that there's a tip at the top, but there is, and was for the rest of the cookies (more or less). While sharing these cookies, it was interesting to see how different people approached biting into the cookie.  Armando took a bite off the top of the pyramid. His feedback: he likes that it's sweet and not bland like other oatmeal raisin cookies. The raisins are softer and more "part" of the cookies (most of the time when you bite into a raisin cookie the whole raisin comes out whole; personally, I wouldn't know, but I trust him.). It's worth noting that there are three varieties of raisins that are cultivated from a local SoCal farm. The pyramid shape doesn't bother him -- makes it feel like there's more to enjoy :) he likes it and would eat it again. My friend Albs chose White Chocolate Macadamia: I really had to take two pictures for each cookie because just the top view was just never enough. The above picture shows the river of white chocolate, which looks amazing, except that part of Albs's comment was in regards to the distribution of the ingredients. He wishes that the chocolate and nuts were mixed more; sometimes he'd get a mouthful of cookie only, other times there would be just chocolate or just macadamia nuts: You can see in the picture above that the nuts and chocolate stay on their own sides like 6th grade boys and girls at a dance. I have to say, though, that this was an anomaly, as none of the other cookies had such a stark division between ingredients. Look at the next photo to see how yummy, ooey and gooey the white chocolate is :) My choice for my first cookie was of course the Double Chocolate: This scenario was definitely part of my ideal day: sitting with friends and reviewing cookies. Albert mentioned that something tasted grainy. I was eating my triple chocolate (took a bite from the side, btw; I thought it was weird to bite the top like Armando did) and I said out loud something tastes oatmeal-y. I gave Armando a bite and we tried to figure out the phantom flavors. Finally, after some VERY close inspections, we found the culprit: OATS! There are whole OATS in these cookies :( Albert and I agreed we did NOT like the grainy oatmeal-y oats. They didn't bother him as much as they bothered me; he liked the cookie but disliked the oats, whereas I *really* disliked the oats. We all agreed that they are all quite dense and cakey. These cookies are definitely for the crunchy cookie lover. Don't get me wrong! They're not hard. They are just not soft. Reese's Peanut Butter cup was next: This one, surprisingly, didn't have that oaty taste or texture. I got feedback from Joe, who said that he thought the cookie was too big. Just too much of it. He was on the border with this one in terms of taste: he said it needed more of a kick and some more character, another dimension. Keith ate the Dark Chocolate Cherry, which was a unique flavor I've never seen anywhere else: Keith also thought this was quite a large portion of cookie, but this was in the presence of Joe, so maybe we were just in the mood for smaller cookies (we were poolside, if that had anything to do with it.. :) ). Other than the size, he thought the shape was interesting. He liked the taste, and was actually okay with the oats. When I ate this cookie, I noticed that the oat-y taste was overshadowed by the rest of the cookie, so I didn't mind the oats as much as I did when I was eating the double chocolate. Lastly, the Peanut Butter Banana: The Peanut Butter Banana is also more of a unique flavor. It's peanut butter, peanut chips, and banana puree. I'll have to say this one had the least strong flavors. Like the others above, it's a thick, dense cookie, with a crunchy exterior and cakey interior. Kukees (pronounced "cookies") You can order their cookies online on the Kukees website.
  • Taste: The cookies (kukees) have an advantage when it comes to choice of flavors, namely the upcoming seasonal flavors which include Pumpkin White Choc and Turtle YUM! The grainy oats are a definite downer in the cookies that had much potential to be yummy. 7
  • Crust and Center moistness: Due to the upright structure of these cookies, they are much more on the crunchy, cakey, dense side of the spectrum.
  • Value: $49 for a dozen of single flavor or 2 flavors or 6 flavors. There are also cookies for Joe and Keith: the Biti-Bites box comes with 36 cookies at 1/3 the size each for the same price! 2-day shipping ranges from about $10 if you're in Los Angeles to $40 if you're in DC (I calculated the DC price just because it's an east cost zip code I had at the top of my head...). $60 comes out to $5 per cookie, BUT, you also get a really nice presentation starting with the box the cookies are shipped in. Everyone who saw the box of cookies was immediately drawn in and wanted to know more about the cookies. So it depends on what you want; you're not buying these just because you want cookies. For locals: 7
  • Overall: If you (or the friend you're buying for) don't mind oats and a grainy texture, you'll like these cookies. The unique shape of the cookies and the box with drawers you can keep makes for a nice present, but I think the fact that the cookies were on the harder side was a negative for most people. 6-7
I was really excited to try Cookie Good after I saw their list of cookies and strong 5 stars on Yelp. They have untraditional flavors like Caramel-Pretzel and Lucky Charms. They don't have a storefront, but you can buy their cookies online, in person at their kitchen, or by finding a location that sells them. I went to a coffee shop near where I volunteer. They are $2.50 or $2.75 each, which is NOT cheap for a cookie. But I like to help support small businesses, and they've got me in the "I've never had that flavor cookie" department. The coffee shop didn't have all the flavors I was hoping for, but I still got something unique: Well, make that two things. I had to try one of their gluten-free ones, too: I ate the crumb cake cookie first. Here is the short list of ingredients, which is another reason I wanted to go with these cookies. The crumb cake cookie was really good! I enjoyed it. It was deliciously moist and tasty. It really was half cookie and half crumb cake. I was a few bites in before I decided to take a very close look into how this cookie was made: It's not the best picture, but try to find the two dark lumps on the upper half of the cookie. THAT is the crumb cake portion! Reaffirmed my thought of it being half cookie and half crumb cake. If you look at the top-view of the cookie again, you'll see where the crumb cake is sticking up. I loved that the batter wasn't homogenous when these cookies were baked. This allowed me to taste the crumb cake so much more. The gluten-free snickerdoodle was next: It looked really yummy. Too bad it didn't taste really yummy. :( I bit into it, and my first thought was, "oh this isn't so bad! Can't even tell it's gluten-free." And then... BAM. EW!! Yuck!!! There was something. Something... something. I looked at the ingredients list and the first ingredient was almonds. That is what I was tasting: ground almonds. Ok, I realized it wasn't as much "yuck" to the taste in general (I have nothing against almonds) as it was "yuck, this is so not what a cookie tastes like." Have you ever drank something thinking it was something else? Like drinking sprite instead of water? The first reaction is usually WTF ew. Then it's not really "ew" as it is "that's not something I expected." I took another bite, this time knowing I was going to be eating an almond cookie, and I just couldn't finish it. It was just too much almonds and not enough snickerdoodle. My boyfriend ate the rest. He didn't think it was so bad. Cookie Good Santa Monica, CA Their products can be found at these locations:
  • Blue Plate
  • Santa Monica Seafood
  • 18th Street Coffee House
  • Mayberry
  • Monsieur Marcel
To place an order, call (310.720.1642) or email (info@cookiegood.com) any time.
  • Taste: Crumb cake: 9; gluten-free snickerdoodle: 3
  • Crust and center moistness: The crumb cake was beautifully moist; the gluten-free snickerdoodle had more of a grainy texture
  • Value: $2.50 or $2.75 per cookie. WAY too expensive. They are $18/dz single flavor or $22/dz mixed, which makes the cookies much more affordable. I'm not an expert in gluten-free foods, so I can only compare to regular cookies, but there have GOT to be better gluten-free cookies out there. I will find them.
  • Overall: Too expensive for my wallet to buy as a one-off, but it would make a great present for someone who loves crazy flavors. Please just don't do gluten-free. I would consider buying their cookies as gifts. Wish they had a storefront but I am starting to understand what being a small business is about! 8
My boyfriend LOVES burgers, so when we were near the Santa Monica Place Mall we stopped by Umami Burger. I know the best one is on Cahuenga, but this is much closer. I had the veggie burger (darn good), it was his first time having truffle cheese (he liked the burger), and our first time having LA Creamery ice cream sandwiches. As I'm told directly from the source, ALL Umamis have the ice cream sandwiches (as well as lacreamery.com). Firstly, Armando inhaled his burger way before I finished mine, so I did what anyone does while her mouth is full and she wants to order dessert before the waiter takes another 10 minutes to come around a really-not-that-big restaurant: frantic "get the waiter" and "get the dessert menu" and "order for me" arm and hand motions. Facial expressions included. As well as chipmunk cheeks. Armando knew I wouldn't share, so he ordered his own. We got two ice cream sandwiches! They came out before I finished my hamburger. I'm a really slow eater but I became Kobayashi once I saw the waiter with these babies in tow. When ours came out, the table next to us IMMEDIATELY requested the dessert menu. I mean, wouldn't you if you saw this? We were sitting by the window, so we had to take these sandwiches' glamour shots before the ice cream started melting. Mine was the chocolate hazelnut ice cream with chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies: Armando got Oreo ice cream with chocolate chocolate cookies: The technical: The first thing I noticed about these cookies was the generous amount of ice cream in between the cookies. The ice cream scoop was THICK. From my (limited, as I'm only one person) experience, the ratio of cookie:ice cream is 2:1 or 2:1.5. Just a little more ice cream than if there were a third cookie in the middle, which means that on the thinner side of the sandwich, you just get a crunch with almost no insides. Having as much ice cream as there is cookie gives balance to the sandwich. The ice cream actually reached out to the ends of the cookie (well, mine moreso than Armando's, but Armando's scoop was REALLY high). Secondly, and VERY importantly, the ice cream doesn't squish to the other end of the sandwich when you bite into it. I HATE that about ice cream sandwiches!! When that happens, you're playing this symmetrical game with the ice cream sandwich where you have to eat from opposite sides of the cookie every bite so you end up with ice cream in the middle of the cookie rather than no cookie and all ice cream. This was due to the fact that the cookie and ice cream were the same softness. Another pet peeve of mine is when I bite into a sandwich and the cookie goes *CRUNCH* in the wrong place, a piece breaks off, and part of my ice cream is naked. This is most likely because these were pre-made, packaged, and put in the freezer whole... but I liked it. Taste-wise, I could not ask for anything more. I liked how coincidentally I ordered a light cookie and a dark ice cream and Armando got the opposite. The chocolate hazelnut ice cream in my sandwich was rich. The chocolate flavor with hint of hazelnut was what I hoped to get. Too many times I have been disappointed with flavors that claimed to be chocolate hazelnut and really just ended up being chocolate. The cookie was more on the downlow, assisting the ice cream be the star of the sandwich. The cookies were not lacking in white chips or macadamia nuts at all! The combination was perfect. I REALLY didn't want to stop eating mine but I forced myself to pause so I could take a sip of water and eat a bite of Armando's. I thought mine was so good and his would be just as good, but dare I say his was a little bit better? I didn't regret mine at all, but the chocolate in that cookie is something else. Right when I bit into it I knew there was something different; there was more flavor dimension in this cookie than any other chocolate chocolate cookie I've ever tasted. It tasted so much richer, deeper, almost... heavier...? It is so hard to describe, so I'm going to say what our waiter Brandon said: I asked him specifically about the cookie and asked what tasted different about it. He told me that he always tells people it's as if they took hot chocolate and put it into a cookie. BOOM. EXACTLY like that. Rich hot cocoa into a cookie put around ice cream. I'm going to assume they used really high quality chocolate, which is why the cookies taste so wonderful. Word of warning, though (well, "phrase" of warning to be more literal): Armando didn't know what I was talking about. Clearly, his palette is not as refined as Brandon's and mine. The ice cream was pretty standard cookies 'n cream, but WOW the sandwich!! It may be worth mentioning that Brandon's favorite flavors are oreo chocolate chocolate and salted caramel. I think they also have a toffee (or coffee? crap I forgot) flavor as well. Umami Burger 500 Broadway (it's not REALLY on Broadway. It's attached to Fred Segal, so maybe that's why it says Broadway. It's on the east side of 5th between Broadway and Colorado.) Santa Monica 90401 310.451.1300 M thru W 11-10 Th thru Sa 11-11 Sun 12-10
  • Taste: 10. Best ice cream sandwich I've ever had.
  • Crust and center moistness: They are on the softer side, perfect for biting into; the cookies were firm enough to stay true to playing their role in the ice cream sandwich. I can't compare this to a cookie on its own because the cookies on a sandwich really need to be softer.
  • Value: $5. I thought this was high at first, but then I remembered it's the same as ice cream sandwich trucks Coolhaus and Chunk-n-Chip (the latter might be $4.75, not sure). It's cheaper than other restaurant-served ice cream sandwiches. Burgers are $11-$13 and if you want fries that's another $3.50, so the price is fair. Especially considering how good these taste.
  • Overall: Again: Best ice cream sandwich I've ever had. 10.
PS: If you ate a burger AND fries, consider sharing your dessert. I had just a burger (I even hollowed out the bread) and I was getting full about 66.67% - 75% through my ice cream sandwich.