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Beignets at Joyce.
Beignets at Joyce.
Ziv Sade

Save Room For These 17 Sensational Desserts in Los Angeles

Close out the meal with one of these not-to-be-missed sweets

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Beignets at Joyce.
| Ziv Sade

It’s easy to fill up on savories and pass on the sweet stuff when out for a meal. And truth be told, that’s usually not a bad call because desserts can sometimes be an afterthought for certain chefs and restaurants. However, the places celebrated on this list devote as much care and creativity to the end of the meal as they do to the start. Here now are 17 sensational desserts worth saving room for in Los Angeles.

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S’mores choco taco at Agnes

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Head to Agnes in Pasadena for the ultimate dessert mashup — the iconic Choco Taco meets classic campfire s’mores. Imagine a sweet and crisp waffle shell filled with chocolate mousse and toasted marshmallow — all of it blowtorched to caramelized perfection.

A decorative blue and white plate containing a S’mores Choco Taco at Agnes in Pasadena.
S’mores choco taco at Agnes in Pasadena.
Cathy Chaplin

Hakka mochi at Joy

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With noodles, rice bowls, and thousand-layer pancakes to be had, it’s no wonder that most folks stumble out of Joy properly stuffed and likely without dessert. But hold back a little on the savories, because the hakka mochi is worth saving room for. Served alongside mugs of warm tea, the mound of mochi arrives dusted in irresistible peanut and black sesame powders.

A plastic plate with a blue trim containing a mound of mochi dusted in black sesame powder and brown peanut powder at Joy.
Hakka mochi at Joy.
Cathy Chaplin

Rice cakes at Sichuan Impression

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Following a Sichuan feast of garlicky ribs and hot pot, order the fried rice cakes served in a puddle of dark palm sugar. This sweet finish has the impressive ability to calm even the most spice-ridden of bellies.

Rice cakes in a dark sugary syrup on a white plate.
Chewy rice cakes at Sichuan Impression.
Cathy Chaplin

Ice cream at Antico Nuovo

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With strawberry season in full swing, now is the time to reserve a table at chef Chad Colby’s Antico Nuovo. While the entire range of ice cream flavors — from honeycomb to pistachio — are terrific, it’s the seasonal strawberry that bests them all.

A light pink swirled strawberry ice cream in a cup at Antico.
Ice cream at Antico Nuovo.
Wonho Frank Lee

Meringata at Funke

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With pastry whiz Shannon Swindle at the helm, every dessert on Funke’s sweets menu is a well-composed masterpiece. The stunning meringata changes with the seasons and currently features rhubarb granita, Harry’s strawberries, and verbena panna cotta.

A scalloped edge white bowl with red granita, rose petals, and white meringue.
Meringata at Funke in Beverly Hills.
Cathy Chaplin

Milk and honey at Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura

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The only way to get a taste of pastry chef Tamara Rigo's enchanting milk- and honey-inspired dessert is to commit to an eight-course tasting menu. The grand finale features honey sourced from the Santa Monica farmers market drizzled tableside, its sweet nectar catching every honeycombed ridge.

A white plate with fanciful red trim holding a custard base and plenty of honeycomb at Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura in Beverly Hills.
Milk and honey at Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura in Beverly Hills.
Cathy Chaplin

Halo halo at Sari Sari Store

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Everyone knows that chef Margarita Manzke has a way with sweets. At Sari Sari Store inside Grand Central Market, she serves up a refreshing halo halo made with watermelon granita, leche flan, fresh berries, coconut tapioca, and coconut ice cream. It’s hard to say which layer is most delightful — just eat them all.

Kiwi dessert at Camphor

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Before Max Boonthanakit teamed up with Lijo George to open Camphor, he was crafting some of LA’s most exquisite desserts at the now-closed Nightshade. Boonthanakit’s talent and finesse are apparent in the kiwi dessert, with its frozen green apple disc and cardamom syrup-poached fruit.

A white bowl with an icy disc of kiwi at Camphor.
Kiwi dessert at Camphor.
Cathy Chaplin

Beignets at Joyce

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The beignets at Joyce arrive piping hot and with plenty of powdered sugar on top, just like they do at the iconic Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. Made with a pate a choux dough, the beignets are stupendously light with a texture reminiscent of popovers. The duo of dipping sauces served alongside — bourbon vanilla dulce de leche and raspberry brown sugar preserves — takes every bite to the next level.

Beignets at Joyce.
Beignets at Joyce.
Ziv Sade

Churros at Cha Cha Chá

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It’s hard to think of a more LA-centric dessert than the churros at Cha Cha Chá. Dreamed up by pastry chef Ellen Ramos, the LA-shaped and sugar-coated churros are served with a trio of sauces including Thai tea, Abasolo rompope, and jamaica jam.

Chocoflan at Sendero

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Following a feast of crudo, empanadas, and arepas at Corteza perched on the 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton near L.A. Live, save room for the chocoflan, where chef Francois Behuet marries the flavors and textures of Mexican chocolate sponge cake with espresso-spiked mascarpone custard.

A pink bowl with chocolate flan and ornate flourishes at Sendero in Downtown.
Chocoflan at Sendero in Downtown.
Cathy Chaplin

Pa oli i xocolata at Flor Y Solera

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Considering chef Mònica Angelats’s strong pastry background, it’s no wonder the desserts at Flor Y Solera are as memorable as the savories. While it’s hard to resist the quintessential churros con chocolate, the pa oli i xocolata with olive oil ice cream, velvety chocolate cremeux, and paper-thin toasted bread is even better.

A white bowl with a thick lip filled with toasted bread rounds, olive oil ice cream and chocolate dollop at Flor Y Solera in the Arts District.
Pa oli i xocolata at Flor Y Solera in the Arts District.
Cathy Chaplin

Chocolate budino tart at Bestia

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There’s no arguing that Genevieve Gergis knows how to construct an irresistible dessert. With its Valrhona chocolate base, the chocolate budino tart balances sweet, salty, and bitter with aplomb, providing a rich finish at this always-bustling Arts District restaurant.

A white plate with a chocolate tart at the center and a drizzle of olive oil at Bestia.
Chocolate budino tart at Bestia.
Cathy Chaplin

Hibiscus meringue at Damian

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This local version of chef Enrique Olvera’s cornhusk meringue dessert gives a nod to the city’s love of jamaica — the popular hibiscus drink found at Mexican restaurants and taco stands all over town. The meringue tastes properly tart while a strawberry puree provides a sweet lift.

A top-down image of a white plate with the hibiscus meringue from Damian.
Hibiscus meringue at Damian.
[Official Photo]

Souffle au chocolate at Pasjoli

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It doesn’t get any more classic than the souffle au chocolate at Pasjoli. Served tongue-searingly hot from the oven, the towering bitter chocolate souffle comes with vanilla ice cream and a warm chocolate sauce.

Soft serve ice cream at Coucou

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For those with a soft spot for fast-food soft serve ice cream sundaes, Coucou in Venice serves a high-brow version made from Straus Family Creamery milk that’s sure to impress. Diners will get a kick out of drizzling melted chocolate that instantly turns into a hardened shell and garnishing with boozy candied cherries and crushed almonds tableside.

Matcha tiramisu at Ryla

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The matcha tiramisu at Ryla has been on the menu since day one. Served in a lacquered hinoki cypress box that’s traditionally used for drinking sake, the tiramisu includes luscious layers of matcha chiffon cake, mascarpone cream, and a fragrant dusting of matcha powder.

A sqaure wooden box with a dusting of matcha powder at Ryla.
Matcha tiramisu at Ryla.
Wonho Frank Lee

S’mores choco taco at Agnes

Head to Agnes in Pasadena for the ultimate dessert mashup — the iconic Choco Taco meets classic campfire s’mores. Imagine a sweet and crisp waffle shell filled with chocolate mousse and toasted marshmallow — all of it blowtorched to caramelized perfection.

A decorative blue and white plate containing a S’mores Choco Taco at Agnes in Pasadena.
S’mores choco taco at Agnes in Pasadena.
Cathy Chaplin

Hakka mochi at Joy

With noodles, rice bowls, and thousand-layer pancakes to be had, it’s no wonder that most folks stumble out of Joy properly stuffed and likely without dessert. But hold back a little on the savories, because the hakka mochi is worth saving room for. Served alongside mugs of warm tea, the mound of mochi arrives dusted in irresistible peanut and black sesame powders.

A plastic plate with a blue trim containing a mound of mochi dusted in black sesame powder and brown peanut powder at Joy.
Hakka mochi at Joy.
Cathy Chaplin

Rice cakes at Sichuan Impression

Following a Sichuan feast of garlicky ribs and hot pot, order the fried rice cakes served in a puddle of dark palm sugar. This sweet finish has the impressive ability to calm even the most spice-ridden of bellies.

Rice cakes in a dark sugary syrup on a white plate.
Chewy rice cakes at Sichuan Impression.
Cathy Chaplin

Ice cream at Antico Nuovo

With strawberry season in full swing, now is the time to reserve a table at chef Chad Colby’s Antico Nuovo. While the entire range of ice cream flavors — from honeycomb to pistachio — are terrific, it’s the seasonal strawberry that bests them all.

A light pink swirled strawberry ice cream in a cup at Antico.
Ice cream at Antico Nuovo.
Wonho Frank Lee

Meringata at Funke

With pastry whiz Shannon Swindle at the helm, every dessert on Funke’s sweets menu is a well-composed masterpiece. The stunning meringata changes with the seasons and currently features rhubarb granita, Harry’s strawberries, and verbena panna cotta.

A scalloped edge white bowl with red granita, rose petals, and white meringue.
Meringata at Funke in Beverly Hills.
Cathy Chaplin

Milk and honey at Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura

The only way to get a taste of pastry chef Tamara Rigo's enchanting milk- and honey-inspired dessert is to commit to an eight-course tasting menu. The grand finale features honey sourced from the Santa Monica farmers market drizzled tableside, its sweet nectar catching every honeycombed ridge.

A white plate with fanciful red trim holding a custard base and plenty of honeycomb at Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura in Beverly Hills.
Milk and honey at Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura in Beverly Hills.
Cathy Chaplin

Halo halo at Sari Sari Store

Everyone knows that chef Margarita Manzke has a way with sweets. At Sari Sari Store inside Grand Central Market, she serves up a refreshing halo halo made with watermelon granita, leche flan, fresh berries, coconut tapioca, and coconut ice cream. It’s hard to say which layer is most delightful — just eat them all.

Kiwi dessert at Camphor

Before Max Boonthanakit teamed up with Lijo George to open Camphor, he was crafting some of LA’s most exquisite desserts at the now-closed Nightshade. Boonthanakit’s talent and finesse are apparent in the kiwi dessert, with its frozen green apple disc and cardamom syrup-poached fruit.

A white bowl with an icy disc of kiwi at Camphor.
Kiwi dessert at Camphor.
Cathy Chaplin

Beignets at Joyce

The beignets at Joyce arrive piping hot and with plenty of powdered sugar on top, just like they do at the iconic Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. Made with a pate a choux dough, the beignets are stupendously light with a texture reminiscent of popovers. The duo of dipping sauces served alongside — bourbon vanilla dulce de leche and raspberry brown sugar preserves — takes every bite to the next level.

Beignets at Joyce.
Beignets at Joyce.
Ziv Sade

Churros at Cha Cha Chá

It’s hard to think of a more LA-centric dessert than the churros at Cha Cha Chá. Dreamed up by pastry chef Ellen Ramos, the LA-shaped and sugar-coated churros are served with a trio of sauces including Thai tea, Abasolo rompope, and jamaica jam.

Chocoflan at Sendero

Following a feast of crudo, empanadas, and arepas at Corteza perched on the 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton near L.A. Live, save room for the chocoflan, where chef Francois Behuet marries the flavors and textures of Mexican chocolate sponge cake with espresso-spiked mascarpone custard.

A pink bowl with chocolate flan and ornate flourishes at Sendero in Downtown.
Chocoflan at Sendero in Downtown.
Cathy Chaplin

Pa oli i xocolata at Flor Y Solera

Considering chef Mònica Angelats’s strong pastry background, it’s no wonder the desserts at Flor Y Solera are as memorable as the savories. While it’s hard to resist the quintessential churros con chocolate, the pa oli i xocolata with olive oil ice cream, velvety chocolate cremeux, and paper-thin toasted bread is even better.

A white bowl with a thick lip filled with toasted bread rounds, olive oil ice cream and chocolate dollop at Flor Y Solera in the Arts District.
Pa oli i xocolata at Flor Y Solera in the Arts District.
Cathy Chaplin

Chocolate budino tart at Bestia

There’s no arguing that Genevieve Gergis knows how to construct an irresistible dessert. With its Valrhona chocolate base, the chocolate budino tart balances sweet, salty, and bitter with aplomb, providing a rich finish at this always-bustling Arts District restaurant.

A white plate with a chocolate tart at the center and a drizzle of olive oil at Bestia.
Chocolate budino tart at Bestia.
Cathy Chaplin

Hibiscus meringue at Damian

This local version of chef Enrique Olvera’s cornhusk meringue dessert gives a nod to the city’s love of jamaica — the popular hibiscus drink found at Mexican restaurants and taco stands all over town. The meringue tastes properly tart while a strawberry puree provides a sweet lift.

A top-down image of a white plate with the hibiscus meringue from Damian.
Hibiscus meringue at Damian.
[Official Photo]

Souffle au chocolate at Pasjoli

It doesn’t get any more classic than the souffle au chocolate at Pasjoli. Served tongue-searingly hot from the oven, the towering bitter chocolate souffle comes with vanilla ice cream and a warm chocolate sauce.

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Soft serve ice cream at Coucou

For those with a soft spot for fast-food soft serve ice cream sundaes, Coucou in Venice serves a high-brow version made from Straus Family Creamery milk that’s sure to impress. Diners will get a kick out of drizzling melted chocolate that instantly turns into a hardened shell and garnishing with boozy candied cherries and crushed almonds tableside.

Matcha tiramisu at Ryla

The matcha tiramisu at Ryla has been on the menu since day one. Served in a lacquered hinoki cypress box that’s traditionally used for drinking sake, the tiramisu includes luscious layers of matcha chiffon cake, mascarpone cream, and a fragrant dusting of matcha powder.

A sqaure wooden box with a dusting of matcha powder at Ryla.
Matcha tiramisu at Ryla.
Wonho Frank Lee

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