Cafe Ugo: Turn Down the Tiramisu

— by Caroline on Crack

Tiramisu at Ugo

Back in the ’90s, I used to be a tiramisu reviewer. Not for any special publication or anything. Rather, my friend Bernadette and I would go from Italian restaurant to Italian restaurant just to sample this Tuscan trifle. It was our own unofficial quest for the best one out there. Having not found it yet, the search continues even though it’s been on hiatus for many years.

But last night over a catch-up session with good ol’ Bern, we went to Ugo in Culver City for a light dinner and ended up resurrecting this pastime by picking up the Italian cafe’s “pick-me-up.” Ugo makes great pastas and the restaurant is always busy, even on a Sunday night, so we figure tiramisu here would be good. But I could tell just by looking at the dessert as it sat in its refrigerated case that it wasn’t going to be all that impressive. It looked too cakey and dry.

And unfortunately, I was right. There wasn’t any hint of the coffee and liqueur that’s supposed to permeate the lady fingers. Instead it just tasted like heaps of mascarpone slathered on bits of lady fingers. So much cheese in fact that it left an oily residue on my tongue. Blah!

It might be passable for those who haven’t tasted heaven in their mouths before where the tiramisu is the perfect balance of creamy and cakey and wet and dry but for my discerning tiramisu palate? I couldn’t even finish it. Me. Letting dessert go to waste. Yeah, it was that bad.

3865 Cardiff Avenue
Culver City, California 90232
(310) 204-1222