Tres Leches cake is one of my many loves. This Latin American dessert consists of a yellow cake soaked in three milks (tres leches): evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and half and half or cream. It's topped with a white icing (hopefully whipped cream). The moist cake, the milks and the frosting combine to make each mouthful a heavenly slice of creamy, dairy goodness.
Tres Leches cake is available at nearly every panaderia in LA, but it's surprisingly hard to find a good one. For one thing, as a cake soaked in milk, it needs to be fresh. It gets gloppy when old and sours pretty quickly as well.
I've gone through a number of Tres Leches phases in my life, and even made my own, which is actually pretty easy. The most commonly recommended Tres Leches among foodies is probably Porto's, the Cuban bakery with branches in Glendale and Burbank. Personally, I think Porto's, while good, is overrated. While technically proficient, their food just doesn't excite me much (though I like a beef filled, fried potato ball as much as the next person).
Lately, my Tres Leches of choice is from the bakery section of the Liborio Market. I go to the one on Third Street, east of Alvarado. Their cake has the perfect consistency - creamy but not completely sopping- and high turnover assures that it is fresh. The cake is super moist but not super sweet. The frosting isn't whipped cream, but the more typical sugar frosting you get at supermarkets, with a bit of the chemical aftertaste they sometimes have, but the overall cake is good stuff and fills my Tres Leches need better than most competitors.
1831 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90057