Mission Pie SF


For our first Dessert Tour post of 2015 we decided to continue with our pie coverage but swinging up to Mission Pie in San Francisco where they firmly believe that “Good pie is worth sharing.” Sourcing from local farms and produce distributors, Mission Pie creates delicious pies from the highest quality ingredients.

Mission Pie
2901 Mission Street at 25th
San Francisco, CA 94110

Michelle: The “Mission District” is an up-and-coming neighborhood in San Francisco that has a distinct culture of its own. Graffiti art, murals and drawings everywhere, every block and alleyway has its own little charm. Located in the heart of the Mission District, a corner pie shop named Mission Pie resides on Mission Street between 25th & 26th Street.

We ate the Banana Cream Pie, Pumpkin Pie, and Apple Blackberry. The Banana Cream Pie was a light pudding-like cream pie, and very refreshing. The Pumpkin Pie was not too creamy. The Apple Blackberry had granola on top, and included a good mix of fruits. But what we loved about Mission Pie is their crust. The crust was so flaky, really thin, and it really set their pies apart from your average pie. Our “fav” was the Banana Cream Pie – a definite must try.

Photos courtesy of Michelle Nicole Photography

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The Pie Hole LA


Happy Holidays from your Dessert Tour team. We hope your holidays have been filled with sweet time with loved ones as well as of course sweet treats. For this Friday’s post we felt pie would be the perfect post Holiday topic – so we take you to The Pie Hole in Los Angeles.

The Pie Hole’s mission is clearly and simply stated: happiness one slice at a time. And they achieve just that with their artisanal fresh baked pie by the slice served up in flavors such as Mom’s Apple Crumble, Moe’s Pumpkin and Mexican Chocolate. They also bake up individual savory pies: Breakfast Hand Pie, Chicken ‘n’ Cornbread and Angel City Steak ‘n’ Ale to name a few. To accompany all this the Pie Hole brews their own organic coffee program featuring their house blends roasted to precise deliciousness. In addition to their two locations, The Pie Hole is now serving up pie at LAX Terminal 2! We discovered this by chance and happily brought a Chicken ‘n’ Cornbread with us onto a flight.

The Pie Hole
714 Traction Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90013

James: Their first location which we visited is also their original location in DTLA Art District. We ordered the Earl Grey and Mexican Chocolate. Both were really good. The pies are a good balance of fillings, creme and most importantly with all pies: the crust and shell. The crust has a nice flaky crunch. Not super hard or tough as if it’s been a week old – but fresh! Their use of a good amount of butter gives it it’s nice flaky texture. The Earl Grey is subtle but noticeable and is complimented with chantilly creme (vanilla whip cream).

The Mexican Chocolate is the bolder flavor of the two. Baked into the goodness is the taste of spices such as cinnamon & nutmeg. The chocolate adds another layer of crunch.

The spot in DTLA is a nice hole in the wall, fitting to its name. It’s one of the few places in town that is pie-centric. And by focusing on just making pies they definitely make things right. A few small tables and a couple of communal tables makes up their seating arrangements at this nice spot in DTLA. They have now expanded to the heart of old towne Pasadena and it’s great to see that they’re thriving well in the short amount of time since it’s original opening.

Michelle: Pie Hole is definitely one of the yummier pies I’ve had in a long time.  I don’t normally crave for pie, but this is a must go to!

I love the Earl Grey because you would not necessarily think that a tea flavor would transpose so well to a pie. It was very light, and the mixture of the pie filling and crust was an amazing balance. The Earl Grey Tea flavor was refreshing. The Mexican Chocolate is great for the chocolate lovers. It’s bolder. I really like the communal picnic table they have in the middle – makes The Pie Hole a great spot for sharing pie and socializing. And on this particular Dessert Tour adventure, we ran into a certain renown DJ at the spot scroll below to see if you recognize who.

Photos courtesy of Michelle Nicole Photography

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Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous SF


In the spirit of the holiday countdown to Christmas, our Dessert Tour team takes you to Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous in San Francisco for their “Peppermint Stix” ice cream – among other tasty handcrafted ice cream flavors. Behind the spacious black and white shop stocked deliciously with a homemade goodies like peanut and almond brittle just to name one, and an ice cream counter hosting such flavors as “White Sesame”, “Candied Violet” and “Honeywine” (made of Ethiopian honey mead), is a husband and wife duo. Both were formerly pastry chefs that hailed from the Los Angeles Four Seasons Hotel. They were working with the Wolfgang Puck Group, in particular with Sherry Yard. They moved back up to their native home, San Francisco to start the creamery and haven’t looked back since.

Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous
699 22nd Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

James & Michelle: Ovaltine was malty, nostalgically reminiscent of movie theatre chocolate “Whoopers,” while their “Peppermint Stix” was perfect for the holidays. Michelle particularly liked the “Peppermint Stix” because of the candy cane chunks, and the minty taste. It’s almost like mint ice cream but better and more festive! Like a bite of Christmas in your mouth every single time. Michelle and James also tried the: “Pink Guava,” “Cardomom,” and “Rose.”

Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous handcraft a wide array of unique flavors and they nail all the flavors. The ice cream is good, creamy, flavorful, and refreshing. Their menu changes daily and is focused on seasonal products and themes.

Photos courtesy of Michelle Nicole Photography

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dream.believe.inspire.MNN & JL
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Levain Bakery NYC


Levain Bakery has established itself as the neighborhood bakery of the New York City’s Upper West Side, attracting both a following of regulars as well as tourists – all lined up to partake of their renown baked treats. Their mix of rustic breads as well as their world famous six ounce chocolate chip walnut cookie, are all baked fresh each day on-site  with only the finest ingredients. Michelle of Dessert Tour details below highlights from her visit to the bakery.

Levain Bakery, Upper West Side
167 W 74th Street
New York NY 10023

Michelle: We ordered all four of the cookies: Chocolate Chip Walnut, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip and the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip.

We were walking through Central Park and took a wrong turn to walk towards the Upper West Side. During rush hour, we spent 45 minutes hailing a taxi down – just to go to Levain Bakery. Eventually, we made it there. The bakery was tucked away under ground.  

From a block away, you could smell the cookies. Right as we walked up to the bakery, we waited in line that began on the sidewalk and entered into the bakery downstairs. The cookies were not your ordinary sized cookies, they were big.

The thing I loved about these cookies was that they were both chewy and crunchy at the same time. The outside was crunchy, but the inside, because they were so big (and tall), the inside was extremely chewy and some of the chocolate was still gooey.
My favorite was the Chocolate Chip Walnut and the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip – the Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip was a bit too chocolatey for my personal preference. 

All in all, the cookies were delicious, but too big for one serving for me! However, perfect for sharing with your friends! 

Photos courtesy of Michelle Nicole Photography
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Gelateria Uli


Gelateria Uli makes their gelato and sorbet fresh daily. Founded by Uli Nasibova, this downtown gem is tucked away in the heart of Los Angeles’ historic neighborhood. Their delicious array of gelato may be accompanied by the fine drip coffee and expresso drinks they serve, and if you so wish – you may also choose from a fine selection of fresh pastries. Our Dessert Tour colleague James, share below his experience when we visited Gelateria Uli.

Gelateria Uli
Spring Arcade Building
541 South Spring Street, Suite 104
Los Angeles, CA 90013

James: The old downtown Spring Arcade Building houses one of the best gelato shop in Los Angeles. All the gelato are made in house with premium ingredients. Their Pistachio was smooth and buttery with a great contrast of rich nuttiness to it. I believe they used Sicilian pistachio nuts. The Strawberry Sorbet was clean and refreshing. This particular flavor is definitely something perfect to have after a heavy meal, almost as a palette cleanser.

Gelato is similar but different from ice cream in that it has both less fat and air – whipped into its final product. Because of this it is typically served at a slightly warmer temperature. This also make Gelato more palette-able on the tongue, less shocking. It will melt and dissolve in your mouth.

In an area of downtown Los Angeles that is being revitalized, Gelateria Uli is a great addition to draw the crowds. Their premium gelato is executed with great attention and care, I would definitely come back for more.

Photos courtesy of Michelle Nicole Photography
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Dessert Tour NYC at LADURÉE


Just a mere mention of the Ladurée House immediately brings to mind sweets of beautiful pastel colors and eye candy delicacies. They are a French luxury bakery and confections house founded in 1862 by Louis Ernest Ladurée and synonymous with the much loved dessert – the double-decker macarons. A fire in the bakery in 1871 sparked the transformation of it into a pastry shop that skillfully melded the style of Parisian cafés and the pastries of French patisserie. In 1930, Ladurée’s grandson Pierre Desfontaines came up with the original idea of taking two macaron shells and stacking them together with a creamy ganache filling. The rest is a delicious and colorful history, as even today Ladurée remains one of the top premier sellers of these beautiful treats. Michelle, recently visited their Upper East Side location in New York and she shares her Dessert Tour adventures with us below.

Ladurée NYC
864 Madison Ave
New York NY 10021

Michelle: first learned about Ladurée when I visited Paris back in 2011. Ladurée is famous for their macarons and pastries.

In New York City, there are two locations. One on the Upper East Side on Madison between 70th & 71st, and the other in Soho. We went to the one in the Upper East Side. This Ladurée location was a nice cozy shop for walk-ins, to order your macarons and/or pastries and go, in contrast to the more formal shop in Paris on the Champs de’Lysses where there was a dining area and places to have afternoon tea. Since I traveled to New York City with three friends, we decided to all try every single macaron flavor to get a little taste of everything. The shell was crispy on the outside and the inside was gooey and bursting with flavor. Some of our favorites were Rose, Raspberry, Lemon, and Red Fruit.

Permanent Flavors in the Macaron Collection were as follows: Vanilla, Coffee, Chocolate, Pure Dark Chocolate, Pistachio, Lemon, Caramel with Salted Butter, Roses, Orange Blossom, Raspberry.

Their Seasonal Flavors were: Red Fruit, Lemon with Lemongrass, Chestnut, Praline, Coconut, Mint with Anise, Gingerbread, Fig, Green Apple, Chocolate with Blackcurrant, Montello Cherry with Almond.

Photos courtesy of Michelle Nicole Photography
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Vanessa And Josh – Wedding Film


Congratulations to my fun loving couple Vanessa and Josh! Their special day was all about family, friends, and their love for one another. Thank you to Kelley and Paul Gilster at 618 Studios for finishing their wedding film in time for the holidays!



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