Sugar Rush: Chocolate and Caramel Flan with Cocoa-Masa Streusel from Empellón Taqueria
Few restaurants are hotter right now than Alex Stupak's Empellon Taqueria and Cocina. Both are consistently packed, and Cocina, the fancier of the two, is on the short list for a possible James Beard award for best new restaurant.
After you've had some tacos, consider trying the flan. If you find, as I do, that flan is usually too sweet and gelatinous, take a minute to read up on pastry chef Lauren Resler. She's not making your run of the mill egg custard.
The chocolate flan with caramel, cocoa-masa streusel, and cinnamon ice cream ($9) has the texture of a panna cotta or a thick pudding, but the chocolate and caramel flavors are much deeper and richer. The streusel adds some satisfying texture to the dessert in the same way Carvel's famous "crunch" adds texture to their ice cream cakes. Housemade cinnamon ice cream rounds out the dish nicely.