Living near Hillcrest offers a lot of opportunities for me to walk into the neighborhood and discover new stores. Places I like to frequent include a used bookstore, a candy shop and a few restaurants. Over the last few months, a few places have popped up that have caught my interest.
Among them is Mille Feuille Chocolates and Patisseries. Mille Feuille opened at the end of August on the corner of 5th and University. Over the years that store front housed a Gap and a real estate company. Now it’s a full-fledged cafe that sells desserts and sandwiches. The interior is white, chic and in my opinion, overly fussy for the surrounding restaurants. On a recent visit, a measly $4 peanut eclair eaten in the restaurant (which was quite good) included a whole production where a white-shirted waiter produced two water glasses and cloth napkins with brass napkin rings. I wonder what would have happened if I ordered more than one dessert and maybe even a sandwich.
On another note, Mille Feuille does produce their own macarons in house.
Another place that caught my eye is Pizza Fusion — kitty-corner from Mille Feuille on 5th Avenue. What previously housed Shwoomp! is now an organic pizza restaurant. The menu seems intriguing and, admittedly, I’m more allured by their claim that their pizza can “save the Earth.” I plan on trying this place sometime in the future.
The most notable place though is Pinkberry. I noted over a year ago that the former PB Home and Garden on 4th Avenue was closed to make way for a Pinkberry. Well, it finally opened (second location in the Gaslamp Quarter opened first).
I’ve been seeing people as far as five blocks away walking with their cups of Pinkberry and although I won’t condemn the store, it’s just not something I’m into. I’ve plopped down $4 to try a small original with Capt. Crunch at the Studio City location and walked away unimpressed. But it does seem that nearby businesses are hoping to benefit from Pinkberry’s popularity. What Pinkberry and drycleaning have in common — I don’t know.
But one note about the new Hillcrest location: the employees are overeager to enforce the no photo policy, even from public sidewalks. It was a delight to defeat him with my knowledge of that law.