Sweet dreams, via Southeast Asia
In the latest Saturday section, Miles Clements writes about Southern California's wave of Southeast Asian desserts, including Thai, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, Burmese, Malaysian and Indonesian sweets.
Across greater Los Angeles are countless examples of these sweets, a vast dessert diaspora as varied and unique as the ingredients and cultures that constitute each confection.
The sweets found here are the same as those found on the streets of Bangkok, Jakarta and Manila, desserts directly descended from their native countries. They’ve been imported by former culinary school instructors and avid cooks no longer confined to borrowed kitchens, by expatriates re-creating tastes of home and younger generations now carrying on those traditions.
Photos, from top: Jasmine cakes at Bhan Kanom Thai in Hollywood; lapis surabaya layer cake at Merry's House of Chicken; banh da lon at Thach Che Hien Khanh in Westminster. Credits: Anne Cusack, Mariah Taugher and Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times