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Eat Sweets Pastry Opens in Westwood Village

There's a new place in town to satisfy your sweet tooth. The owner is even seeking input from customers about the menu, which ranges from chocolate-dipped marshmallows to lavender-honey baklava.

is the newest addition to Westwood desserteries, joining the ranks of sweet spots and .

The shop faces Gayley Avenue, its name written on tinted windows in dainty, turquoise cursive. The first two weeks of its opening have been quiet, said head pastry chef and manager Megan Driscoll, but she is still plenty busy balancing catering orders and deciding what kinds of goodies to display in her shop.

Since the store opened on June 2, nearby business owners have trickled into her store to try some of her treats and wish her a warm welcome to the neighorhood.

"Everyone's been really nice, I don't feel like there's much direct competition. It's just a great place to be," she said.

The menu of pastries changes every day, ranging from chocolate-dipped marshmellows to lavender-honey baklava. Driscoll encourages customers to share their thoughts about what they would like to see on the menu. There is once pastry, however, that Driscoll will always make: her signature shortbread cookie coated with almond icing. The salted caramel pecan bars are also a hit, she said.

No newcomer to the food business, Driscoll spent much of her childhood working at her father’s Mediterranean restaurant on the East Coast.

"It's in my blood, I just kind of fell into the profession," she said.

Despite her background in food service, she actually began her professional career in TV production. She took a break to attend culinary school for two years, however, and quickly cultivated a love of pastry-making.

"When I was assigned to a pastry internship at first I was like: "Well, OK..." But then I started to appreciate the artistry of it. It's a really creative job," Driscoll said.

After culinary school, Driscoll took part in many Food Network pastry competitions and styled food for TV chefs such as Paula Deen. In 2006, she founded a custom desserts catering company.

"But I always knew I wanted to open a storefront eventually, it was just a matter of how and when," she said. 

When a friend mentioned to her that a storefront was open in Westwood Village, previously owned by the deli La Galetta, she said she immediately knew it would be a great spot for her business.

The sidewalk in front of the store is a path well trod by UCLA students and faculty, as well as other people traveling from campus to Westwood. It's the perfect place for a business that relies on the sweet tooth of the curious passerby, Driscoll said. 

"That's how I've been getting most of my business, from people just walking by and coming in," she added.

First-year UCLA student Cinnamon Frost said she noticed the bakery while walking into Westwood one day, and she is now the new Eat Sweets cashier. "It's like the perfect name for working at a bakery, right?" she said, laughing. 

Frost is partial to the chocolate peanut butter brownie. She recommended the brownie to Eugenia Ho, who stopped by the shop on her way back from work at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. But Ho opted to try all three types of cupcakes instead, and purchased so many pastries that she had to ask for a large plastic bag to carry them home.

"I've been to almost every bakery in West Los Angeles, so I'm excited to try a new one," she said.

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Roxane Stern June 21, 2012 at 01:57 PM
What is the address? What are the hours? Thanks
Sara Fay June 21, 2012 at 02:20 PM
It's at 964 Gayley and I'll get back to you about the hours.
Tensie Palmer June 21, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Don't forget about Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. :)
Jan Allen June 21, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Great! I will look forward to trying it out on my birthday next week!
Celia Soudry June 22, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Stan's and Diddy can't compete with this place. Knocks it out of the park, the city, the world. Pahleeeeez.

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