I'd heard whispers about this place on-line, but didn't know where it was until I drove right by it today (the south side of the 500 block of Wilshire in Santa Monica).
I'm long over the cupcake craze, so I got an icebox "cake" instead. I think if Angelenos can get over their lemming-like devotion to cupcakes, they'll realize that the icebox cake is Vanilla's strength. They have interesting flavors like dirt cake, tiramisu, Southern banana pudding, and key lime. All winning combinations in my book, though I could do without the fancy (and pricey)jar. Shot glass versions of the icebox cakes are available for $3. Incidentally, shot glass desserts have also hit Whole Foods.
Truly, one of the best desserts I've had in a long time. The whipped cream is fresh and light, and the chocolate mousse is exquisite in its intensity. They did not skimp on quality or dumb down the mousse with sugar and milk chocolate. The cake crumbles are slightly chewy like a browny, and actually more salty than sweet.
The best thing about this dessert? It is so reserved in its use of sugar that the aftertaste is just as savory as it is sugary. This is not a dessert that coats your tongue in sugar and makes you thirst for milk or water. Delicious. Easily enough dessert for two, $8.