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  • Writer's pictureThe Bone Guys

10 Striking Desserts to Please the Eye and the Palate in L.A.

Bon Temps

You may be accustomed to telling patients to watch their sugar, lest it transform their pearly whites into a ragged portcullis. But this probably doesn’t stop you from destroying a fabulous desserts yourself when it comes to eating out.

To assist your comprehensible hypocrisy, we’ve rounded up some of the most eye-catching desserts you can find in L.A. The kind that are more than worth bucking your own professional advice for.

In fact, they’re so eye-catching, you may even find yourself recommending them to the next person who assumes your chair. At least to look, not touch. After all, you do have your reputation to consider.

Dessert Graffiti at The Bazaar, Beverly Hills: This end-of-the-meal spectacle could only happen at Jose Andrés’ house, where modernist surprises meet traditional Spanish flavors. Held in the restaurant’s Patisserie, chefs transform a table into an edible canvas of saccharine swirls, drips and shapes, dotting it with themed candy sculptures that change with each month. Past themes have included The Pacific Ocean with shell-shaped financier cookies, oyster macarons and vanilla and caramel mousse sharks; Jurassic Park with dinosaur mousse cakes; and the farmers market, featuring sweet versions of your favorite produce. The only thing more rousing than watching it get “painted,” is tearing it apart. thebazaar

St. Honoré at Bon Temps, Downtown Arts District: Gateau St-Honoré is a grand dessert named in honor of Honoratus of Amiens, an early archbishop of Arles and the French patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs, as decreed by Louis XIV. You don’t necessarily need to know all of that to enjoy this impressive version from chef Lincoln Carson, in which chocolate-paved puff pastry and a base of bourbon-and-vanilla cake hold up an ordered jumble of whipped cream blobs, pecan mousseline and choux pastry bearing flat, brittle crowns of caramel glass. You can totally just eat it. bontempsla

Milk & Honey at Nomad, Downtown: First you behold Milk & Honey, noting the tight honeybee-pin striping on a perfect quenelle of honey ice cream over a smashed hive of housemade honey brittle candy, dehydrated milk flakes and oat biscuit shortbread. Then you continue to look. Finally, remembering that ice cream still have the capacity to melt, you dive in for a bite, reveling in the textural interplay of sweet milk and honey that tastes a bit like the lovechild of Honeynut Cheerios and Violet Crumble. Then you think about it for many days. Ah, the memories. thenomadhotel

Coconut mousse at Nightshade, Downtown: Chef Mei Lin and sous chef Max Boonthanakit‘s signature dessert looks like some kind of friendly alien embryo. But it doesn’t taste like one. It’s actually a refreshing, passion fruit-and-white-chocolate-coated puck of coconut mousse with a core of cooked pineapple and finger lime, served on a bed of lime-coconut granita in of a bowl that resembles a cleaved coconut, riffing on the flavors of a piña colada. Though to be honest, we really don’t know what a friendly alien embryo would taste like. So maybe both are right. nightshadela

The Grilled Cheese Cheesecake at 189 by Dominique Ansel, The Grove: Dominique Ansel famously invented the Cronut, that donut-croissant hybrid that swept Manhattan and later, the world. More recently, he hatched a chimerical collection of sweet trompe-l'œil at his Mid-City restaurant with desserts that look like tacos, hot dogs, a wheel of Brie and our favorite, this ricotta cheesecake with a Meyer lemon curd center and graham cracker-crumbed crusts, slightly seared like a crème brûlee to look like it came out of your mother’s frying pan. We’re doing a standing ovation now, by the way. dominiqueansella

“Oops, I Dropped My Ice Cream Cone” at Barton G., West Hollywood: From mac-and-cheese served in a giant mousetrap to popcorn shrimp that comes in an actual movie theater popcorn machine, there’s a visual surprise in every dish at Barton G., which is dinner-theater without the D-grade murder mystery. What truly takes the cake is this gargantuan dessert that looks like a fallen ice cream cone. Weighing in at 4-feet-tall and 25 pounds, it requires two servers to bring it to the table; an inverted boulder of strawberry ice cream topped with sprinkles, vanilla cake, whipped cream and chocolate cake crumble in a cinnamon phyllo dough cone plopped onto a sandbox of graham cracker crust. It is the largest dessert on this list. And probably in the world. bartong

“The World Famous Rose Petal & Pretzel Pie” at Birdie G’s, Santa Monica: You can almost picture your lunch lady sliding something this quivering slice to you at your grade-school cafeteria. And while chef Jeremy Fox’s culinary ode to his upbringing stems from a deep well of nostalgia, there’s pronounced sophistication in this slice. Raspberry and rose mousse with a pretzel crust encases an epicenter of strawberry, hibiscus and rose petal jelly, the creaminess offset by a bright raspberry crumble, fresh berries and candied rose petals that taste better than one might initially assume. It’s also really fun to jiggle around on the plate before devouring it. Jiggle, jiggle. birdiegsla

Soft serve sundae at Angler, Beverly Grove: After an opulent seafood feast at the new L.A. location of chef Joshua Skenes’ well-regarded restaurant, soft serve might seem like a basic choice. Then you sample this smoky caramel-drizzled, cacao nib-studded sundae, rich with the flavor of true vanilla and a hit of salt, and realize it has nearly as much complexity as the aforementioned Saint Honoré. anglerrestaurants

The Faberge Egg at The Belvedere, Beverly Hills: A stunning Fabergé egg is so much more tasteful when you don’t put it on display, opting instead to smash its edible paint and gold leaf-detailed graham cracker crust to pieces so you can get at the blood orange mousse, citrus and luxurious Dulcey Rocher chocolate and gelato secreted inside. However, we really don’t recommend doing that at anybody’s house. It seems to only work at The Belvedere at The Peninsula hotel.

Mille Crepes at Lady M Confections, L.A. and O.C.: Millefeuille is a legendary French pastry that translates into “1,000 sheets” due to its multiple layers of impossibly thin puff pastry. The signature cake at Lady M, made with alternating layers of pastry and cream, can’t help but impress anyone you bring it to. And there are a ton of options, including cakes made with green tea, tiramisu and coconut, as well as special editions like the Hokkaido red bean-studded mille crepes and Champagne geleé-topped version available through January, or the beautiful black charcoal-infused one you an only find at the Irvine location.

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