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10 Desserts to Fend off Summertime Sadness

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2008_10_hasmapsla.jpgWhile the season for white pants is officially behind us, we are left in a nebulous late summer, early fall season, with many restaurants ditching the former and embracing autumn's bountiful offerings. However, for those of us clinging on to the last vestiges of summer, there are still treats to make our days that much sweeter. Late summer produce like figs, stone fruit, and melons are being celebrated by pastry chefs across Los Angeles, giving us one last opportunity to savor summer before it's gone. Here, 10 great desserts for the end of summer, in no particular order. —Crystal Coser

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Fig Jam Ice Cream at Sweet Rose Creamery

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While Sweet Rose Creamery has had a wide variety of summertime flavors, their end of summer specialties include the innovative fig jam swirl with goat cheese and toasted walnut, roasted apricot, and melon sorbet. Be sure to try them while they last as Sweet Rose’s seasonal offerings change monthly!

Cherry Blossom at WP24

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This elegant dessert was recently introduced to Wolfgang Puck’s modern Chinese restaurant. The end of summer Cherry Blossom with Brooks cherries, pistachio cake, and lychee semifreddo is a true stunner that is fitting of the gorgeous panoramic views of LA that surround it.

Fig Upside Down Cake at Crossroads

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Adapted from a classic Italian dessert, Crossroads takes their almond flour cake and bakes it with sliced brown Turkey figs. Served with a quenelle of golden balsamic almond whipped cream, a crispy almond tuile, and fresh figs, this taste of the Mediterranean summer is a perfect way to celebrate the end of the season.

Plum Kouign Amman at Huckleberry

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This sweet treat of buttery kouign amann dough, vanilla pastry cream, fresh plums, and a smattering of blackberries highlights the fruit of the season, and is a perfect indulgence at any time of the day.

Tequila Lime Cake at La Monarca

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While this rapidly expanding Mexican bakery offers a variety of cakes far beyond chocolate and vanilla, the summertime specialty is the tequila lime. Nothing will have you celebrating summer like tequila-infused layers of moist sponge cake filled with vanilla and lime zest chantilly cream and topped with meringue and roasted coconut.

Strawberries 'n Milk at Acabar

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Acabar’s modern twist on childhood classics is a playful homage to summer. A whimsical plating of macerated strawberry, crunchy milk, chamomile granite, and a house-made strawberry gusher takes cues from iconic lunchtime treats, but adds a healthy dose of grown up sophistication.

Stone Fruit Cobbler at The Church Key

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The Church Key’s pastry chef Ian Opina combines some of summer’s best offerings in his deconstructed stone fruit cobbler. Poached nectarines, peachy plum sherbet, brown butter streusel, and champagne sabayon are brought together for a comforting pairing that tastes of the season.

Crown Cake at Joan's on Third

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Crown Cake, Joan’s on Third’s take on strawberry shortcake, is ethereally light and is perfect for a hot summer day. Packed with fresh strawberries, this summertime staple is likely to revive idyllic childhood memories.

Summer Rhubarb at COMMISSARY

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Roy Choi’s seasonally driven concept in Koreatown celebrates fruits and vegetables, an approach that is realized in its summer rhubarb dessert. The often underutilized vegetable is poached in an elderflower-anise hyssop syrup and is served as a unique version of a floating island. [Photo: Audrey Ma]

Milk and Melon at Wolfgang Puck

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This gorgeous dish is reflective of the fabric of LA, with seasonal produce and both Mexican and Asian flair. Heirloom melons are paired with milk semifreddo, cucumber-shiso ice cream, and pieces of tres leches cake for a light dessert that is the perfect way to send off summer.

Fig Jam Ice Cream at Sweet Rose Creamery

While Sweet Rose Creamery has had a wide variety of summertime flavors, their end of summer specialties include the innovative fig jam swirl with goat cheese and toasted walnut, roasted apricot, and melon sorbet. Be sure to try them while they last as Sweet Rose’s seasonal offerings change monthly!

Cherry Blossom at WP24

This elegant dessert was recently introduced to Wolfgang Puck’s modern Chinese restaurant. The end of summer Cherry Blossom with Brooks cherries, pistachio cake, and lychee semifreddo is a true stunner that is fitting of the gorgeous panoramic views of LA that surround it.

Fig Upside Down Cake at Crossroads

Adapted from a classic Italian dessert, Crossroads takes their almond flour cake and bakes it with sliced brown Turkey figs. Served with a quenelle of golden balsamic almond whipped cream, a crispy almond tuile, and fresh figs, this taste of the Mediterranean summer is a perfect way to celebrate the end of the season.

Plum Kouign Amman at Huckleberry

This sweet treat of buttery kouign amann dough, vanilla pastry cream, fresh plums, and a smattering of blackberries highlights the fruit of the season, and is a perfect indulgence at any time of the day.

Tequila Lime Cake at La Monarca

While this rapidly expanding Mexican bakery offers a variety of cakes far beyond chocolate and vanilla, the summertime specialty is the tequila lime. Nothing will have you celebrating summer like tequila-infused layers of moist sponge cake filled with vanilla and lime zest chantilly cream and topped with meringue and roasted coconut.

Strawberries 'n Milk at Acabar

Acabar’s modern twist on childhood classics is a playful homage to summer. A whimsical plating of macerated strawberry, crunchy milk, chamomile granite, and a house-made strawberry gusher takes cues from iconic lunchtime treats, but adds a healthy dose of grown up sophistication.

Stone Fruit Cobbler at The Church Key

The Church Key’s pastry chef Ian Opina combines some of summer’s best offerings in his deconstructed stone fruit cobbler. Poached nectarines, peachy plum sherbet, brown butter streusel, and champagne sabayon are brought together for a comforting pairing that tastes of the season.

Crown Cake at Joan's on Third

Crown Cake, Joan’s on Third’s take on strawberry shortcake, is ethereally light and is perfect for a hot summer day. Packed with fresh strawberries, this summertime staple is likely to revive idyllic childhood memories.

Summer Rhubarb at COMMISSARY

Roy Choi’s seasonally driven concept in Koreatown celebrates fruits and vegetables, an approach that is realized in its summer rhubarb dessert. The often underutilized vegetable is poached in an elderflower-anise hyssop syrup and is served as a unique version of a floating island. [Photo: Audrey Ma]

Milk and Melon at Wolfgang Puck

This gorgeous dish is reflective of the fabric of LA, with seasonal produce and both Mexican and Asian flair. Heirloom melons are paired with milk semifreddo, cucumber-shiso ice cream, and pieces of tres leches cake for a light dessert that is the perfect way to send off summer.

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