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Bananas for Bananas

So, I enjoy banana flavored desserts but they're hard to find. A search of the boards didn't yield a whole lot of info.

Some recent banana desserts that I've enjoyed include: the Banana Banana Banana dessert at Chaya Brasserie; the caramelized banana cream pie at Ruths' Chris; the banana ice cream at Coldstone creamery; deep fried bananas (?plantains) from Philipino restaurants with black sesame seeds on them (but I don't know of a specific place in the South Bay to get them... my Philipina coworkers usually bring them); and even the havana banana split at Jerry's.

I suppose having this many desserts already isn't that bad of a start. However, this being chowhound, I thought I'd see if anyone here knows of any outstanding banana desserts in the LA area? If they're located in the South Bay, even better.

Some examples....
A tasty bananas foster done tableside?
Banana crepes?
Banana cakes or muffins?
An outstanding banana pudding or ice cream?
Banana bread (preferably without nuts)?

Looking forward to hearing any suggestions.

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  1. Fosselman's does a great banana sorbet (and I'm not even a sorbet fan).

    7 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Yum, I'll have to try it. I haven't found a good banana sorbet in all my sorbet adventures.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        I think Fosselman's also has other banana ice creams besides the sorbet. Fresh n Easy carries a roasted banana ice cream and Trader Joe's has chocolate covered bananas (yum). Oh, and I forget which bakery they get it from but Whole Foods has a banana cream tart (mini and large ones) that have been quite a hit with my friends.

        1. re: crystaw

          The roasted banana icre cream sounds amazing. I checked out Fosselman's... and, they have banana walnut ice cream... I'm not a walnut fan (which is why I got tired of just buying chunky monkey from ben and jerry's... got tired of picking out the walnut chunks).

          i found a Fresh and Easy nearby... so, that's good.

          1. re: DrBruin

            Banana Cream Pie Ice Cream at Handel's in Upland. But call ahead as their flavors rotate. Bert 'n Rocky's in Claremont Village has an "Elvis" ice cream (banana ice cream with peanut butter swirl)....but the quality just wasn't there last time we tried it....it lacked banana flavor.
            Amandine Pastry in West L.A. has a banana tarte that you can purchase by the slice, but I think that it has a walnut cookie crust.

            Handel's Homemade Ice Cream
            373 S Mountain Ave, Upland, CA 91786

            1. re: DrBruin

              So, I found the Fresh and Easy and found the roasted banana gelato and it's very smooth. I really like it. Thank you Crystaw. Also, I've never been inside one of these markets... it's interesting... in a good way.

              1. re: DrBruin

                If you have an ice cream maker, Alton Brown has a quick and simple recipe for banana ice cream:


                1. re: bulavinaka

                  It's funny you posted that. What got me to post this in the first place, was his banana show. I don't have an ice cream maker but I saw you can kinda do this in a blender with thawed bananas, light corn syrup, and some heavy cream. Thank you for this link. I can now delete it off my DVR.

            1. re: JAB

              Which banana flambe did you like better?

              1. re: DrBruin

                I've actually not had the Dal Rae's. I just remembered than having it.

            2. Auntie Em's Kitchen in Eagle Rock has the best banana cream pie I've ever had. The same pie @ the Apple Pan is a distant second. Auntie Em's version has a shortbread crust, creamy custard made with real vanilla bean, ripe bananas, and fresh whipped cream. You have to call ahead to make sure that they have it since it frequently sells out, and they rotate their dessert menu

              Auntie Em's Kitchen
              4616 Eagle Rock Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

              1 Reply
              1. re: apfb

                Banana Rolls with Coconut Ice Cream at Bulan Thai Vegetarian, yummers!

                Busaba Thai Vegetarian Kitchen
                7168 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                Bulan Thai Vegetarian Kitchen
                4114 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

              2. Someone just wrote on another thread that the banana pudding at Baby Blue BBQ is amazing, also, and I know it's a bit of a drive, but if you are ever in Costa Mesa, Habana on Bristol (in the anti-mall) has the greatest deep fried banana dessert, covered in caramel sauce and served with vanilla bean ice cream. And Whole Foods sells choco covered frozen bananas. I also like to get the "plantains" at Bossa Nova (I used parenthesis because, by my experience, plantains are a savory side dish; these are dark, sweet, almost carmelized banana nuggets). And I believe they have a banana pizza as well.

                1. Bananas Foster at Ralph Brennan's (it and the freshly-fried beignets at the attached cafe are two of the best things at Downtown Disney)

                  Turón (bananas wrapped in egg roll wrappers and fried, then coated with syrup) at any Filipino place, but you may need to call ahead -- Kapit Bahay and Manila Good-Ha often have them.

                  Banana pudding at Johnny Reb's

                  Banana wafer sundae at Natural on State College in Anaheim

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    The egg roll wrapper thing reminded me--Nobu in Malibu has (if it's on the menu-I think it was a special when I had it) banana and chocolate spring rolls, camre with raz and choco dipping sauces. One of the best desserts I have ever had.

                  2. I'm very fond of the banana cream pie at Jar on Beverly.

                    1. Amandine does a great Banana-Caramel Tart, sort of like a sophisticated banana cream pie. Excellent.

                      I find the banana pudding at Baby Blues a bit artificially-too-gelatinous gummy and a little sweet, but that's just me. Vanilla Bake Shop also does a Southern banana pudding, though I've never had it.

                      Dal Rae's tableside bananas foster is great. Way more than the sum of its parts, somehow. So good that I forgive them for tossing in a canned peach in the mix for reasons unknown.

                      The banana bread at Literati Cafe (I think it has chocolate chips in it too?) is quite good.

                      Babalu in Santa Monica has a popular Banana Brownie Cream Pie.

                      The banana layer cake at BakeAway on Robertson (a wholesale bakery primarily) is noteworthy: moist, velvety, light (I often find banana cake too dense, like eating banana bread sandwiched with buttercream), great banana flavor, with a nice, light, proper buttercream (try the white chocolate or chocolate) though I haven't been there in some time.

                      If you like Vietnamese desserts (che), there are several different banana options at Che Hien Khanh in Little Saigon: poached bananas and koai mi (a kind of root vegetable similar to taro) in coconut milk with tapioca pearls (chuoi chung), a different version of banana che with sliced bananas and also with coconut milk and tapioca (the bananas will be a bit firmer), a grilled banana-rice cake thing (a whole banana coated with a sticky rice studded with black beans wrapped in banana leaves and steamed, then grilled), as well as a gelatinous banana cake (it's the fluorescent yellow colored one that's cut into little diamonds) that is served with coconut milk on the side for dipping.

                      Walt's Wharf in Seal Beach serves a cedar-planked grilled banana split (at least they did the last time I was there) that yields a complex caramel-y depth to the banana and transformed my idea of what a banana split should be.

                      1. I don't know if it's on their regular menu, but Clementine served excellent banana cream pie at the Gold Standard food event.

                        I know you are asking for restaurants so I don't mean to be contrary, but it is very easy to make good bananas foster and banana bread at home, if you are so inclined.

                        1. The Apple Pan has a very good Banana Cream pie, Im not crazy about the burgers but the Egg Salad on Rye Toast is very good. I stated this just in case you go there for a bite to eat as well..

                          Apple Pan
                          10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                          1. There used to be a fabulous banana cake at Asia de Cuba. Their desserts are generally over the top but very good.


                            1. This suggestion may come off as a bit ... perverse. But speaking as both a recent parent and a banana nut, so to speak, if you ever want to experiment with a new banana flavor you should buy some banana baby food. Believe me, its absolutely delicious. I've been contemplating how it could be repackaged and sold as an adult snack ... (and don't worry, the baby is gaining weight just fine despite the stolen food!)

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: QualityMart

                                It also works very well to flavor things like homemade ice cream, banana bread, pancakes and muffins if you don't have any nice over-ripe bananas on hand.

                              2. Jin Patisserie does a sponge cake with bananas and cream - kinda banana cream sponge...

                                Sona used to do a chocolate coulant with rum-glazed bananas -- they changed the menu, but you could call and ask and see if they do one as a special on your birthday :)

                                Susina Bakery for banana cream pie.

                                Buttercake Bakery's banana bread.

                                Fresh Banana Bran muffins from Zen Bakery on Pico for a healthier banana treat.

                                For a breakfast treat, head to the Griddle for Banana Nana or The Golden Ticket

                                Urth Caffe does a banana cream pie

                                La Serenata has some good banana goods - blueberry banana bread pudding, white chocolate banana mousse torte, and i think a chocolate banana bread pudding as well.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Emme

                                  my brothers girlfriend told me about the zen bran muffins, and i'm in australia, that is how much she liked them. i have no way of knowing how good they are but she thinks they are great.

                                  p.s- a good tip for an at home banana treat is just to cut a banana down middle like a banana split and bake in an oven until brown and soft, serve with vanilla or coffee ice cream (or whatever u like;-) ) extras are honey, nuts and coccoa powder yummy!

                                  1. re: umbushi plum

                                    Bossa Nova has 2 banana items that I love!

                                    Havana Sandwich
                                    Caramelized bananas, melted monterey jack cheese, Mascarpone cheese, with a touch of cinnamon stuffed in a toasted Italian bread

                                    Banana Special Pizza
                                    Fresh Bananas, Mozzarella with Sugar and Cinnamon mix

                                    Also - Toast has Banana Oreo Pudding which is amazing!

                                2. If you ever find yourself in Brea, check out Taps brewery as they have a fantastic bananas foster. The food is pretty good as well.

                                  1. I'm here to tell you that the Ruth's Chris carmelized banana-cream pie is excellent and, fortunately, doesn't come to the table crackling in hot butter, although the topping is indeed butane broiled. The filling is rich, satisfying, and plump with good bananas, and the crust is outstandingly tender and delicious. This pie is the best thing in the place, in my opinion, and it deserves a better cup of espresso than they offer. (Irish coffee is a nice substitute, however.)

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Mel Gee

                                      Yeah, if you read my OP, you'd see I already mentioned that one. I agree, absolutely delish.

                                      1. re: DrBruin

                                        I saw that you mentioned it. That's why I said "the Ruth's Chris" pie rather "Ruth's Chris" pie.

                                        It occurred to me that Mina Mina usually has bananas on his list of delicious desserts. Sure enough, at XIV he offers the same banana dish as In N Out Burger:


                                        and at what word-starved restaurant critics would call his eponymous Michael Mina in Vegas he has:

                                        STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING
                                        ◦ BROWN SUGAR – “PAPPY’S 15 YR” BOURBON, CASHEW TOFFEE, BANANA ICE CREAM

                                        I also seem to remember that Mina occasionally has a banana tasting trio in Vegas and, possibly, at Stonehill Tavern, but I've never ordered anything for dessert at either place except the fabulous root-beer float with sassafras ice cream and warm chocolate-chip cookies. Yes, I had no bananas.

                                    2. I just had banana pudding for the first time at Bludso's BBQ in Compton. Next to my much loved Apple Pan banana cream pie this was pretty outstanding.

                                      1. I'm a banana freak too, and once I was lucky enough to stumble into Scoops (on Heliotrope) on a day when Banana-Wasabi was one of the day's flavors. His menu changes all the time, so there's no way to know when he'll have it, but you can always call & ask. It was awesome.