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Sep 3, 2013 12:15 PM

Best restaurants for dessert?

I'm a pastry chef & will be travelling to LA in a couple weeks. Where do you recommend I go for the best restaurant desserts? I'm well-versed on the area bakeries, but I don't know much about the restaurants. Where do you recommend I go for the best desserts, both in terms of flavor &/or appearance?

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  1. The best dessert I've had, both in terms of flavor and appearance is at Red Medicine.

    The birch ice is beautiful and the mixture of sour and sweet and rich and icy is phenomenal.

    1. Agree with Red Medicine. Wholeheartedly.

      Try Shunji & Kiriko (both in West LA) for their housemade ice creams, mousses and sorbets.

      For the best gelato outside Italy, try Bulgarini in Altadena.

      7 Replies
      1. re: J.L.

        Red Medicine and Providence are the best in town. At Red Medicine I prefer the green gage plum or green strawberry desserts (depending on season) and the coconut bavarois.

        Bazaar has a big showy dessert bar. After 7 or so visits, I haven't found anything better than average.

        1. re: Porthos

          +1 Red Medicine.

          Hatfield's desserts are pretty terrific, too.

          1. re: Porthos

            The Coconut Bavarois at Red Medicine is the best dessert I've had anywhere.

            For the OP's benefit, Red Medicine's Chef, Jordan Kahn, was part of the French Laundry's pastry team at 17 and later worked as part of the pastry team at Per Se and Alinea.

          2. re: J.L.

            I'll second the recommendation of chocolate mousse at Shunji's.

            It's half the reason why I go there.

            Better than most bona-fide French restaurants in town. Well, come to think of it, there really isn't many French restaurants in town to begin with.

            1. re: kevin

              the lime ice cream there is just crazy good.

              1. re: linus

                I'm not a lime fan, and even I find myself dreaming about Shunji's lime ice cream for days afterwards...

                1. re: J.L.

                  Wow. That's fine praise.

                  And I hate lemon meringue and key lime pies.

          3. The original comment has been removed
            1. For a large and well-done brownie or blondie sundae, Milk is good.

              Not sure if same in the Mozza restaurant, or better, but the desserts at pizzaria mozza are dynamite.

              in the molecular gastronomy vein of red medicine (a polarizing place and im in the "no thanks" camp), the deserts at bazaar are exotic and, in some cases, actually satisfying. There's a chocolate and cookie "bar" too. recalling a clever chocolate mousse with chocolate covered pop rock things inside that worked well.

              the chocolate lava cake has been done and done some more but there is none better than the bento box version at matsuhisa for me.

              new french bakery on beverly drive called chaumont....4 different flavors of eclairs and other goodies.

              the kaiserschmarrn is this outrageous austrian pancake thing with strawberries, berry sauce and load of whipped cream/custard stuff, at spago bh.

              pies at apple pan...not shabby

              3 Replies
              1. re: jessejames

                +1 for Pizzeria Mozza.

                Went there for lunch recently and had the Espresso Granita. Looked simple but was the perfect balance of not too icy coffee granita, chewy coffee gelato and unsweetened whipped cream. Every bite popped - rich, flavorful, great contrasting textures and not too sweet.

                And her baked goods are divine - the cookies at Mozza to go always tempt me!

                1. re: happybaker

                  +1 for Pizzaria Mozza. Nothing beats the budino, IMO.

                2. re: jessejames

                  Had the kaiserschmarrm at bar beisl recently -- made with plum compote not strawberries....blew wolfgang's away.

                3. Anyone been to Ramekin (Los Feliz) lately?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: ns1

                    The lack of replies to this inquiry tells me Ramekin is 5 steps away from closing shop.

                    1. re: ns1

                      Not lately, but I went pretty early on. Had a scoop of ice cream and a sumo mandarin tart. There are too many good ice creams out there these days for me to make a trip back for that. The custard in the tart was pretty much liquid, which I thought was a mistake. I asked them about it and they said that's how they intended it. I don't know if that's how custard is supposed to be anywhere, but it was strange to me, so I haven't been back since.

                      1. re: ns1

                        I too went fairly early on and was grossly underwhelmed. Haven't returned since even though I live in the neighborhood.