La Paella

Best Flan, August 2009

There are two styles of flan and, not surprisingly, partisan cheering sections for each. Both use eggs and sugar, but thereafter they part. Condensed milk adds firmness to the Caribbean and Central American varieties. Regular milk, used by France and Spain, makes the dessert more likely to crack but underscores the juxtaposition with the caramel. We’re not saying one is better than the other. Baracoa Cuban Cafe in Atwater Village serves a perfectly chilled slice. But there’s something about the version at La Paella, a modest Spanish restaurant near the Beverly Center that reminds us of the dish’s classic simplicity. The custard trembles beneath caramel that is brought to the point just past butterscotch and just short of burned.