When Bunny and I started trying cupcakes at Sprinkles a few months ago, I have to admit that I became a little obsessed. While I'm in the pop-culture minority because I'm not a huge fan of the red velvet cupcakes that made them world renowned, I will say that Sprinkles makes some amazing flavors. Over summer my favorite was lemon blueberry, lemon frosting over blueberry cake with blueberry compote inside. Bunny fell in love with their strawberry cupcakes, with strawberry icing over strawberry infused cake. Plain vanilla with sprinkles was great, and the chocolate cake part of the black&white cupcakes was wonderful, although the icing on that one was a little too sweet.
In the middle of my San Francisco adventure, Bunny and I went to the Sprinkles shop in Palo Alto, and we found that it contrasted heavily with our experience in Beverly Hills. The Beverly Hills store has a few features that make it a sort of landmark in Los Angeles. The store is tiny, with barely enough room for 10 or so patrons inside at any given moment, so a line quickly forms outside with people waiting to indulge themselves. The store is also nondescript and easy to miss if you're not sure what you're looking for. Finally, there is nothing quite like being only a block or two away from Rodeo Dr. and feeling a little bit elite by indulging in these special cakes at this location.
The Palo Alto store, on the other hand, is located at a mall. It's a very very upscale outdoor mall, but there's a parking lot right opposite the store, so getting there is already much easier than the free-but-not-always-free garage near the LA location. The store here is at least twice if not three times as large as Sprinkles LA, and has a much smaller crowd, meaning that Bunny and I barely had to wait to order our cupcakes and actually had an opportunity to sit and eat them in the store. We also received a special gift on the day that we went; Sprinkles was celebrating the 4th anniversary of another location (Long Beach I think), and so we said the magic words "4 Years" and each received a free red velvet cupcake. We passed these along to her parents who hadn't had the opportunity to try these treats over the 4th of July.
So what did we get? Bunny ordered strawberry, the bottom left cupcake in the pictures. I ordered a raspberry cupcake, one of the many seasonal treats they offer (I want to try cherry next time I go). Once again, I am amazed at how much flavor is packed into these cakes. The fruitiness comes through in both the cake and the frosting and I could barely restrain myself from getting a second one.
All in all, I think that I like Sprinkles in Palo Alto much more than the store in Beverly Hills, and definitely think it's worth the drive from the city to get such a wonderful treat.