The Nosh

FlantasTIc! Take it from a flan fanatic: Cactus' rendition is the best in town. Their three-milk Cuban flan ($4.75) has been winning friends and influencing people for 14 years. Blame it on the Cuban-style triple dairy threat—while most traditional Spanish and Mexican flans stop at a simple egg and whole milk base, Cuban flan makes a good thing better with the addition of sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. The result is richer, creamier, and silkier than the more eggy, custardlike original, with a dense texture closer to crème brûlée. Prepared with vanilla beans and crowned with vanilla-laced whipped cream in addition to the classic caramelized sugar glaze, Cactus' flan must be tasted to be believed. Be warned: one taste of this creamy dream and you can forget about your independence—just give in and prepare for discipledom. Since you're indulging, you'd best go all the way: order yours with one of Cactus' flaming chocolate cocktails. The staff won't give you attitude if you stop in after dinner for only dessert and drinks, but the dining room and lounge areas are busy as late as 9:30 p.m. on weekdays, so be prepared to wait for a seat or stool up at the bar. KATIE MILLBAUER 4220 E. Madison St., 206-324-4140. MADISON PARK

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