Little Flower Candy Co., 1422 West Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, 626 304 4800
Christine Moore may be best known for her sea salt caramels, but at her bakery & café on Pasadena’s western fringe, you’ll also find a scintillating cinnamon roll ($2.50). The inner flap of Little Flower’s flaky, pull-apart pastry is coated with cinnamon paste and bits of pecan. The middle definitely offers the top bites. It’s a sugary core that’s rife with cinnamon, sugar and heap of pecans.
La Grande Orange Café, 260 South Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, 626 356 4444,
This is by far the most expensive cinnamon roll on the list because the only way to get one is to order the Dixie Pan-Fried Chicken ($19). The dinner-only roll comes with two boneless chicken breasts, a generous pile of buttery mashed potatoes and al dente green beans. The snail-shaped delight is the softest and flakiest of the bunch, sticky but subtly sweet. Be warned: you won’t be able to get through the chicken before you attack the warm, pull-apart roll.
Huckleberry, 1014 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, 310 451 2311
Huckleberry co-owner Zoe Nathan comes from the Tartine Bakery school, so it’s no surprise her cinnamon roll ($3.75) resembles her mentors’ legendary morning buns. Still, Nathan makes the baked good her own, utilizing a dense, sticky pastry, a modest cinnamon infusion and almost every millimeter coated with granulated sugar, including the hollow center.
If you have a favorite fried chicken that wasn’t listed, please let me know.