Dirty Vegan Horchata, Americano
Bacon Cheddar Biscuit
Salted Caramel Budino
Maja Mais Custard
Banana Nutella Bread Pudding with Salty Caramel Sauce
Driving in from Las Vegas in the wee hours of Friday, a 3:15am departure and minimal traffic allowing for arrival in Silver Lake by 7:08, it was with high hopes that the car was parked out front of FrankieLucy Bakeshop before parking meters were activated, the small storefront featuring Filipino-infused Pastries from Sherman Oaks’ Crème Caramel offering no lack of sweet and savory options since it opened its doors in January of 2017.
Not exactly a household name even amongst Angelinos, the food truck-turned-brick n’ mortar original on Burbank Boulevard something of a hidden gem that was last visited in April of 2015, FrankieLucy takes the theme of “Coffee and Custard” literally by representing a joint venture between Annie Choi of Found Coffee and Crème Caramel’s Kristine de la Cruz, the pair’s daily specials enlivening a menu that is already quite adventurous, the presentations here a bit different from those further West but generally no less delicious.
Famous for Instagram favorites like “Unicorn Poop” Meringue and drinks blending Tea and Coffee with Ube or Yuzu in all sorts of colorful combinations, those expecting the big smiles and copious samples offered at Crème Caramel may be a little disappointed by the relative hipster indifference of cashiers at FrankieLucy, particularly in the early morning as they tend to mundane tasks such as stocking shelves or vacuuming that should have been done before opening the doors, none of the items sold in house made on site, but appearing to have suffered in no way from transport.
Still focusing on the eponymous bowls offered since day one, the prices a bit higher than in the past but no less impressive in variety or texture, it was after long perusal that the decision was made to order seven sweets plus two beverages, the Bread Pudding placed in a small convection oven re-warmed in about ten minutes and every bit as decadent as one would expect from Custard-soaked Bread tossed with Bananas and Nutella Spread even before adding a sidecar of Salty Caramel, the Americano served piping hot with good Beans treated to a medium roast while the $6.75 Dirty Vegan Horchata was also quite tasty with the smooth Almond Milk and Rice Water Base finished off with a shot of Espresso.
Passing on items ordered during the last visit, though both the Brookie and Caramel Polenta Cake were indeed tempting, it was with slow spoonfuls that the Corn and Coconut Maja Mais Custard was sampled bite-for-bite next to the texturally inhomogeneous Salty Caramel Budino, both of these adhering to the same high quality standards for flavor as the ‘upside down Pies’ or Custards of the past, the former actually quite savory as was a Bacon-Cheddar Biscuit that was flaky and delicate with big pieces of crispy Pork layered amidst the Cheese and Butter base.
Not particularly thrilled by an Ube Scone, the center as dry as many in England with the only thing saying ‘unique’ was sweet purple Frosting on top, a far better use of the brightly colored Yam was found by way of a Powdered-Sugar topped square known simply as the “Purplie,” the Tuber adding both levity and moisture to quick-bake Chocolate classic while the S’mores Bar was most definitely the sort of idea developed for internet Food-faddists, the Marshmallow atop more than three-times as thick as the Cookie base and far better when eaten separately, though the Marshmallow is so spongy and overwhelmingly sweet that the majority of it ended up discarded.