Battle of the Westwood cookies

by Kristina Mooney

With the recent opening of Insomnia Cookies in Westwood, Bruins have been given a delicious solution for any and all late-night warm cookie cravings. But however renowned Insomnia Cookies is on the national scale, the cookie spot is stepping into dangerous territory by entering Westwood. Insomnia Cookies now must compete with BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse’s mouthwatering Pizookies and the legendary UCLA staple Diddy Riese, all within two blocks of each other. So which cookie spot is the best in Westwood? I’ve set out to face and ace the Westwood cookie dilemma, comparing the three cookie spots and assessing for quality, flavor, price, sweetness and uniqueness.

Up first on the taste buds: Insomnia Cookies. Insomnia Cookies was off to a great start with its varied menu, offering multiple vegan options, gluten-free chocolate chips and a few fun flavors such as S’mores and Double Chocolate Mint. However, the price of the cookies was a bit absurd to me — $2.50 for a standard cookie and $4.50 for a deluxe, which are bigger. The cookies come out warm, wafting a sweet smell that demands to be tasted, and they look expensive. The cookies serve that ooey-gooey, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. However, Insomnia Cookies can be described very well in one word: sweet. The cookies, especially the vegan and gluten-free options, taste overwhelmingly sugary. Overall, Insomnia Cookies scores for a decorated menu but falls short on taste and price.

Next: BJ’s Pizookies. The restaurant is at a disadvantage compared to its competitors as the only restaurant that is not a “cookie spot” on the list, yet it still never disappoints. BJ’s Pizookies are all-around good desserts. The menu is somewhat diverse; Salted Caramel and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut are flavors unique enough. The famous cookie-in-a-pan comes with a choice of vanilla or chocolate ice cream on top. The warm, soft-tasting cookies pair nicely with their tasty ice cream and are perfect after a long day and a nice meal. Even their gluten-free option is worth waiting for on Tuesday nights, when the Pizookies are only $4. That’s a price that easily usurps Insomnia Cookies, even if you have to be patient for it. BJ’s Pizookies don’t dazzle, but they meet you right where you need them for your evening cookie cravings, and they won’t leave you crashed on the couch 20 minutes later like the sugar powerhouses at Insomnia Cookies.

Lastly on the palette: Diddy Riese. Diddy Riese may be a classic, but classics can become old news really quickly. Diddy Riese’s menu is the least exciting of the three restaurants, but the prices next to the cookies are a good indicator as to why Diddy Riese has become a well-known spot. These cookies are the cheapest on the chopping block, which is helpful if you are one to try different flavors. However unexciting the array of cookie options may be, not a single flavor misses its mark. Each bite of a Diddy Riese cookie gives a familiar and comfortable feel, despite the cookies not coming out warm like their competitors. Diddy Riese may not offer the same splendor as Insomnia Cookies or the same warmth as a Pizookie, but they do know how to make a quintessential Westwood cookie.

There’s no doubt about it; Westwood is full of some pretty tasty cookies. Insomnia Cookies offers a high-end dessert, BJ’s a warm embrace and Diddy Riese an accessible quick fix. I name BJ’s Pizookies as the best all-around cookie, but only if you can make it on a Tuesday for the generously low price. Otherwise, hop across the street to Diddy Riese where you can eat yummy cookies to your heart’s content for a much cheaper price. Unfortunately, it seems as though Insomnia Cookies has stepped into the wrong rodeo and will have to retreat back to their big brand reputation in shameful sugary silence.

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