Behold the beginning of our annual 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily! There are restaurants that offer desserts to appease sugar-laden American palates, and then there are places that just do what they want. Costa Mesa's Aussie bakery Pie-Not does the latter. They're named for their hand-held "brekkie" pies (seriously, you'll be chided for requesting a fork), but their sweets put afterthought sundaes to shame.
Case in point: the aptly named Slice of Heaven. The tri-layered dessert is more a bar than a slice, with rich caramel sandwiched between a coconut macaroon-like shortbread crust and milk chocolate.
The profile of the square treat is ombré, with the color moving from tan to brown in each layer. A cluster of pink sea salt flakes sit atop the chocolate. The clustered salt only allows for one bite where the salt-flecked chocolate melds with the coconut rich caramel, but this doesn't prevent you from happily scarfing down the bar. You know you really paid the $3 for that bite, but it was worth it.
The shortbread provides a satisfying crunch, with the added nuttiness of shredded coconut. The thick caramel tempers the crunch with a taffy-like pull and the bar alternates between chewy, gooey and crisp. While milk chocolate can be sickly sweet, the Slice of Heaven avoids cloying Hershey territory. The milk chocolate provides a mellow landscape for this medley to shine.
Really, the bar resembles an old childhood holdover: the Twix, if the Twix had coconut and a better salty sweetness.
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82. Taquitos at El Toro Bravo 83. Peanut Butter and Jelly Donut at the Donuttery 84. Dan Dan Mian at Wei-Shian Noodle 85. Beef Burger at Rider's Club Café 86. Smoked Trout at Provenance 87. Small Plates at A&J Restaurant 88. Corn Cheese at Zoomak Asian Bistro 89. Pumpkin Curry at Bhan Baitong 90. Poke at Costco Tustin II 91. Pambazo at Tacos Radioactivos 92. Beef Pho at Pho Crystal Noodle House 93. Breakfast Burrito from Cafe Calacas 94. Koobideh Plate from Grill Cafe 95. Tacos de Cecina from Alebrije's 97. Breakfast Sausage from Da-Le Ranch 99. Tres Amigos Burrito from Piaggio on Wheels 100. Bacon-Wrapped Dates from Lola Gaspar