Unbelievable Dessert: Baklava Cheesecake at Satoro in Hollywood

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The best thing I ate at my recent visit to Satoro Restaurant and Lounge in Hollywood was dessert. Which is not to say the rest of the meal I enjoyed a few days back was a disappointment -- on the contrary, the meal whipped up by chef Alexander Dziurzynski formerly of Jackson's Steakhouse was exceptional. But I was blown away by the baklava cheese cake infused with goat cheese, a dessert so perfectly constructed it ranks among the finest I've ever tasted.

First, you'll have to excuse the sad press picture to the right -- in my haste, I devoured my own dessert before I had the chance to snap a shot. I instead lifted this pic from Satoro's menu. [See the whole menu here]

The cheesecake has a number of different levels working. The custard itself is creamy with a texture so perfect you could float a shot glass on its surface but anything heavier would make it collapse. The savory, earthy tang of fresh goat cheese comes through in just the right amount as well. Underneath that, the cheesecake's graham cracker crust has been replaced with flaky waves of baklava doused in honey and ground nuts laced with cinnamon -- on its own, it would be an excellent representation of the Mediterranean classic. The final addition: three small mounds of apricot "chutney," a brunoise of crunchy fruit made etheral with a fine chiffonade of fresh mint. Eaten together, the crisp baklava, the milky custard, the tart fruit are like a fleshed out refrain. I scraped bits of the cake off my plate way past the point of being completely full.

You can be sure I'll be writing more about Satoro in the future, but the Mediterranean restaurant is definitely worth a visit. The space is modern but comfortable, the menu is varied in price and stlye, and the wine list is both economical and smartly constructed. Kitchen is open Tuesday through Sunday from 5 to 11 p.m., and tapas and drinks are available until 2 a.m. Just do yourself a favor and try that cheesecake.

2050 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood

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