1/17/2013 02:02:00 PM

Best Thing We Ate Last Night: Olive & Thyme's Salted Caramel Budino

Of course traffic sometimes blows in this town, but sometimes that traffic makes you jump off the highway to avoid the parking lot you're sitting behind, which can lead to new and delicious things. On our way to a dinner last night, we found ourselves winding through Toluca Lake to avoid whatever was blocking the 134/101 exchange, right by Olive & Thyme, which has been serving as a sort of "Joan's of the Valley" (until the real Joan's moves into the Valley), a place for fresh salads, soups, sandwiches, cheeses and desserts for dine-in or to go. We're super fond of the sweets there, so we picked up a couple jars of salted caramel budino and a few Yo-Hos for the road.

The budino isn't like Mozza's butterscotch budino, often held as a standard, but a lighter and creamier, not-too-sweet pudding. It's just as good, topped with soft whipped cream flecked with vanilla bean. The YoHos, HoHo knock-offs, are exactly the opposite - rich, sweet, chocolatey and fabulous. Couldn't have been a better night: We avoided traffic, didn't show up to a dinner party empty handed (kudos to the short rib tacos!), and ended on a terrific sweet note.


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