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The Other Showdown This Week: Vanilla Bake Shop vs. Lark Cake Shop

Lark Cake Shop

God, you'd think nothing else opened this week in restaurant land. Two other debuts were getting some buzz among foodies: Vanilla Bake Shop, which opened in Santa Monica, and Lark Cake Shop, now open in Silver Lake. According to early reports, each fits its neighborhood to a tee, and both are turning out some great cupcakes (the real measure of a good bakery these days). Erin over at Erin's Kitchen thinks Lark Cake Shop could bring back the cupcake trend, if it is indeed on the wane. We happened by today ourselves, and the shop is sparse, pale blue walls, some hipster antique furniture in the front. Paper doilies and cupcake wrappers were pinned to walls; we're told the owner's six-year-old daughter came up with that design. Cute as can be. A window to the kitchen is a nice touch. Today staffers were separating eggs and, well, baking. We were given a wee mini carrot cupcake to taste and it was absolutely delicious, so we left with eight regular size in various flavors. We're kind of hooked. We didn't say we didn't like all the bakeries opening up in LA, just wish more would open in our 'hood.

We haven't made our way out to SM yet, though others have. So far for Vanilla Bake Shop, high praise all around. But an Eater reader is on the other end of the spectrum: "Overwhelming opinion: underwhelming. Vanilla cupcake is very bland/nondescript - not a lot of flavor. Frostings were good. Couple of the choices were REALLY good: Spicy Carrot, Banana Choc Chip, and Old Fashioned hold their own against Sprinkles and Joan's. The rest were inconsistent - black and white was way over baked and dry, one of the choc was eh, the other good. Cute place, but won't go out of my way." We'll always go out of the way for cupcakes.
· The Dish: Red Mango, Vanilla Bake Shop Open Today [~ELA~]
· Plywood: Lark Cake Shop [~ELA]

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