Pyramid – Dark Chocolate Brownie, Marzipan, Kahlua
Nata – Crème Brulee Portuguese Custard in Flaky Shell
Pasteis de Feijao – Almonds, White Beans, Fondant, Chocolate
Bola de Berlin – Malassadas with Pastry Cream
Portuguese Sweet Bread Pudding – Coconut Milk and Raisins
Morgado – Almond Tart, Marzipan, Fondant
Continuing my exploration of the local area after breakfast a quick walk down Ventura Boulevard brought me to Portuguese Bakery, Nata’s, and although it was my intention to simply order a few of the signature egg custards those plans quickly disintegrated the moment I walked it the door a found myself face to face with a pastry case of no less than three dozen options, many of which I’d never even heard of let alone experienced firsthand. Featuring a small kitchen with an intriguing dine-in menu and stellar service from the clerk and owner alike it was admittedly with some sadness that I already had brunch/lunch plans and therefore couldn’t stay for the French Toast or Bacalhau and Eggs but opting for a fresh Salt Cod fritter with perfect crisp-gives-way-to-creamy texture and deferring to the experts for a half dozen pastries for later my visit was nonetheless well rewarded at the modest sum of $20 after tax and tip. Speaking to the quality of the pastry while ignoring the bread pudding which was simply not sweet enough for my American tongue each of the other five options would prove to be a novel taste experience covering a variety of flavors and textures from the dense unsweetened cocoa of the pyramid to the sugar gilded Bola, a lightly leavened egg-bread take on the Bavarian, and onward to both flaky tarts – the Nata better than most traditional Chinese takes on the dish with a jiggly unset center and the Pasteis de Feijao featuring a similar crust but dense, nutty crumb replicated and quadrupled in size for the outstanding Morgado.