Ladurée, along with Pierre Hermé, are the two most famous bakeries for macarons in France.

There is much debate as to who makes the superior macaron. I am firmly in the Pierre Herme camp, but I still wanted to give Ladurée another chance on my most recent trip. I also had a few friends who had never experienced Ladurée so I wanted to bring some back for them.

After our stay in London, Mr. K and I took the Eurostar to spend one day and night in Paris. The trip wasn’t nearly long enough, but it gave us a chance to revisit all of our favorite spots from our vacation two years ago.

There are quite a few Laduree locations in Paris, many of them are full service restaurants where people come in for tea and meals. The bakery side offers rows and rows of macarons, towers of macarons, and many other delectable cakes and pastries. We debated whether to dine in, but nothing really struck our attention from the menu, so we ended up just picking up some macarons and pastries to-go.

This single serving cheesecake mug cake is less than 300 calories per serving. And it’s only 4 ingredients!

This cheesecake is not quite the traditional cheesecake made with cream cheese. The cheese flavor is a little milder, making it lighter in terms of taste, texture and calorie count. It comes in at around 275 calories per serving.

Rather than using cream cheese for this cake, I actually use the low calorie Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss wedges. The texture makes it easy to whip into a cake.

I confess, my original intention was to make a savory cheesecake. But it just didn’t taste good. So I went back to experimenting and came up with this sweet version that tastes like a light and airy cheesecake. Mr. K said it reminded him of the Japanese-style cheesecakes.

El Agave, which has been a popular Mexican restaurant in Old Town, recently opened a second location in Del Mar, occupying the former space of one of my previous favorites Flavor Del Mar. The new restaurant serves the same menu as the original Old Town restaurant (menu on website).

I was recently invited to check out the new location.

Dinner starts with complimentary warm chips and salsa. The trio of dips including a bean based dip, red salsa and green salsa (I tried to get more specifics, but this was all I was told when I inquired).

We really enjoyed these chips and soon emptied our basket, which was promptly refilled.

Pollo Pipian

The restaurant menu has a huge selection of moles, so I was definitely interested in trying one. The moist and tender chicken breast was served with a mild “pepita” (pumpkin seed) sauce. There was a very comforting feel to the dish that I really enjoyed.