FEAST: Free crystal glass! - Page 2

Culinary adventures in Asian dessert cafes

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37 Degrees Desert Cafe

The challenge of dessert cafes may be what relentlessly pulls us to them — the variety of their wares. After all, the menu at 37 Degrees Dessert Café (1155 Taraval, (415) 566-3887) is a solid 10 pages long, filled with evocative photos to guide your deliberations. Dare you try the Deep Sea, whose striated layers of sweet liquid and "coral jellies" resemble nothing more than the dentist office's saltwater aquarium tank poured into a tall ice cream sundae glass? Will you opt for the crystal rolls at 100% Sweet Café (2512 Clement, (415) 221-1628), small rice paper sachets of sugary goo, fresh strawberries, and mangos that constitute the most difficult and slippery food item to eat ever?

All told, the dessert cafes made a distinct impression on me. Situated at a small table, plied with free hot tea, megalith menu in hand detailing lobster balls, black pearl barley, and cold tofu flakes curdled in a wooden bucket — it's easy to lose a few hours contemplating the fact that one will never, ever know all there is to be eaten under the sun.

But a girl can try. Osmanthus jelly with a side of explosive eggs, please?

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