Three to try in West L. A.



Cupcake Babies, Vanilla Bake Shop

-- Vanilla Bake Shop -- Vanilla Bake Shop specializes in an assortment of sweets including cakes, cupcakes and desserts. What sets Vanilla Bake Shop apart from other bakeries is the fact that they are a true cake shop, and of course their stuffed cupcakes, which feature a filling as well as frosting. The creativity and care that goes into their flavor choices is something your taste buds will appreciate. My top picks to try, and some of their most popular flavors, are the meyer lemon raspberry, key lime, chocolate vanilla bean and southern red velvet. And if you're a little indecisive, which can be expected with such delightful treats, Vanilla Bake Shop offers cupcake babies. The miniature versions of their cupcakes are a great way to sample a variety of flavor or excellent treats for a small soiree.

-- The Stand -- Located in Westwood, The Stand is a must for those who enjoy hot dogs and sausages. The casual atmosphere is great for families and those looking for a quick or no-fuss meal. The menu allows for guests to create their own dog, choosing from 8 varieties of sausage or dog and over a dozen toppings and condiments, in addition to including stand classic hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, salads and soups.

-- Palomino -- With a location in Westwood, as well as seven other locations around the country, Palomino has a nice intimate atmosphere, trendy decor and wide range of menu options. You can't go wrong with the market fresh fish, flatbreads and pizzas, bruschetta, potatoes gorgonzola, calamari, cranberry mojito or pomegranate margarita. It's makes for a great experience whether you're dining in the restaurant or enjoying happy hour drinks and appetizers in the bar.