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S’mores Choco Taco at Agnes in Pasadena.
S’mores Choco Taco at Agnes in Pasadena.
Cathy Chaplin

Save Room For These 15 Sensational Desserts in Los Angeles

Don’t forget to close out the meal with one of these fabulous sweets

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S’mores Choco Taco at Agnes in Pasadena.
| Cathy Chaplin

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 15 sensational desserts worth saving room for in Los Angeles.

Added: Choco Taco at Agnes, Sheep’s Milk Cheesecake at Horses, Soft Serve at Yangban Society, Warm Mochi at Here’s Looking At You, Ice Cream at Antico Nuevo, Maritozzo at Mother Wolf

Removed: Blondie Sundae at Connie and Ted’s, Apple Pain Perdu at Bar Restaurant, Hazelnut Dacquoise at Merois, Soft Serve at Angler, Napoleon at Petit Trois

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Soufflé 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 soufflé is served with vanilla ice cream and a warm chocolate sauce.

Rose Petal Pie at Birdie G's

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A slice of Deanie Hickox’s rose petal pie graces every table at Birdie G’s. The picture perfect dessert brings together a crumbly pretzel crust with the jiggliest of rose-kissed fillings. Every slice is finished with candied flower petals.

Sheep’s Milk Cheesecake at Horses

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No matter how full one may feel at the end of dinner at Horses, there’s always room for the sheep’s milk cheesecake. Every slice is served with a seasonal accompaniment, like plums in the summer or rhubarb in the winter, that cuts through the filling’s creamy richness.

An artsy side shot of cheesecake and a reddish plum on a white plate.
Sheep’s milk cheesecake at Horses in Hollywood.
Wonho Frank Lee

Apple Pie at Jones Hollywood

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Made with a flaky crust and fresh apples, Jones’s apple pie arrives on a sizzling platter with rich caramel and a mound of vanilla ice cream. This is comfort food at its finest.

Maritozzo at Mother Wolf

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Pastry wizard Shannon Swindle’s take on this classic Roman sweet bun is the perfect way to end a meal at Mother Wolf. Filled with whipped cream, a hidden pocket of strawberries, and topped with powdered sugar, the expertly executed maritozzo is fluffy, light, and just sweet enough.

Maritozzo at Mother Wolf in Hollywood.
Maritozzo at Mother Wolf in Hollywood.
Cathy Chaplin

Ice Cream at Antico Nuovo

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With strawberry season around the corner, now is the time to make advance reservations for a table at chef Chad Colby’s Antico Nuovo, where the dessert is as stellar as the pastas. While the entire range of ice cream flavors — from honeycomb to pistachio and cookies and cream — 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

Warm Mochi at Here's Looking At You

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Pastry chef Thessa Diadem makes some of the most creative and highly-coveted desserts in town. Her warm mochi filled with roasted chestnut paste is an instant classic, with its muscovado caramel and coconut cream flourishes. The entire creation is topped with halvah for a sweet and nutty crunch.

Warm Mochi at Here’s Looking At You.
Warm Mochi at Here’s Looking At You.
Cathy Chaplin

Halo Halo at Sari Sari Store

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Everyone knows that chef Margarita Manzke has a way with sweets. Here at Sari Sari Store inside Grand Central Market, she serves up a refreshing halo halo 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.

Buffalo Milk Soft Serve Yangban Society

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Arts District newcomer Yangban Society is making a splash with its soft serve ice cream. Sourced from Double 8 Dairy in Petaluma, the buffalo milk ice cream is richer, creamier, and denser than regular soft serve. Choose from an array of toppings including puffed rice, soy bean paste caramel, and chocolate sauce.

Bar au Chocolat Bittersweet 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.

Chocolate Budino Tart 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 (a popular hibiscus drink found at Mexican restaurants and taco stands all over town). The meringue tastes more tart than the original one served at Cosme in New York City, while a strawberry puree provides a sweet lift.

Hibiscus Meringue at Damian.
Hibiscus Meringue at Damian
[Official Photo]

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 arrive dusted in peanut and black sesame powders.

Hakka Mochi at Joy
Hakka Mochi at Joy
@GastronomyBlog

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.

S’mores Choco Taco at Agnes in Pasadena.
S’mores Choco Taco at Agnes in Pasadena.
Cathy Chaplin

Tarte Tatin at Perle Restaurant

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It’s imperative to save room for Perle’s apple tarte tatin. The warm-from-the-oven tart boasts caramelized pastry edges, plenty of tender apples, and a tangy cinnamon-labneh cream that mellows out all that sweetness.

Tarte Tatin at Perle Restaurant.
Tarte Tatin at Perle Restaurant
[Official Photo]

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 sugary syrup on a plate.
Chewy Rice Cakes at Sichuan Impression
Cathy Chaplin

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Soufflé 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 soufflé is served with vanilla ice cream and a warm chocolate sauce.

Rose Petal Pie at Birdie G's

A slice of Deanie Hickox’s rose petal pie graces every table at Birdie G’s. The picture perfect dessert brings together a crumbly pretzel crust with the jiggliest of rose-kissed fillings. Every slice is finished with candied flower petals.

Sheep’s Milk Cheesecake at Horses

An artsy side shot of cheesecake and a reddish plum on a white plate.
Sheep’s milk cheesecake at Horses in Hollywood.
Wonho Frank Lee

No matter how full one may feel at the end of dinner at Horses, there’s always room for the sheep’s milk cheesecake. Every slice is served with a seasonal accompaniment, like plums in the summer or rhubarb in the winter, that cuts through the filling’s creamy richness.

An artsy side shot of cheesecake and a reddish plum on a white plate.
Sheep’s milk cheesecake at Horses in Hollywood.
Wonho Frank Lee

Apple Pie at Jones Hollywood

Made with a flaky crust and fresh apples, Jones’s apple pie arrives on a sizzling platter with rich caramel and a mound of vanilla ice cream. This is comfort food at its finest.

Maritozzo at Mother Wolf

Maritozzo at Mother Wolf in Hollywood.
Maritozzo at Mother Wolf in Hollywood.
Cathy Chaplin

Pastry wizard Shannon Swindle’s take on this classic Roman sweet bun is the perfect way to end a meal at Mother Wolf. Filled with whipped cream, a hidden pocket of strawberries, and topped with powdered sugar, the expertly executed maritozzo is fluffy, light, and just sweet enough.

Maritozzo at Mother Wolf in Hollywood.
Maritozzo at Mother Wolf in Hollywood.
Cathy Chaplin

Ice Cream at Antico Nuovo

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

With strawberry season around the corner, now is the time to make advance reservations for a table at chef Chad Colby’s Antico Nuovo, where the dessert is as stellar as the pastas. While the entire range of ice cream flavors — from honeycomb to pistachio and cookies and cream — 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

Warm Mochi at Here's Looking At You

Warm Mochi at Here’s Looking At You.
Warm Mochi at Here’s Looking At You.
Cathy Chaplin

Pastry chef Thessa Diadem makes some of the most creative and highly-coveted desserts in town. Her warm mochi filled with roasted chestnut paste is an instant classic, with its muscovado caramel and coconut cream flourishes. The entire creation is topped with halvah for a sweet and nutty crunch.

Warm Mochi at Here’s Looking At You.
Warm Mochi at Here’s Looking At You.
Cathy Chaplin

Halo Halo at Sari Sari Store

Everyone knows that chef Margarita Manzke has a way with sweets. Here at Sari Sari Store inside Grand Central Market, she serves up a refreshing halo halo 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.

Buffalo Milk Soft Serve Yangban Society

Arts District newcomer Yangban Society is making a splash with its soft serve ice cream. Sourced from Double 8 Dairy in Petaluma, the buffalo milk ice cream is richer, creamier, and denser than regular soft serve. Choose from an array of toppings including puffed rice, soy bean paste caramel, and chocolate sauce.

Bar au Chocolat Bittersweet Chocolate Budino Tart at Bestia

Chocolate Budino Tart at Bestia.
Chocolate Budino Tart at Bestia
Cathy Chaplin

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.

Chocolate Budino Tart at Bestia.
Chocolate Budino Tart at Bestia
Cathy Chaplin

Hibiscus Meringue at Damian

Hibiscus Meringue at Damian.
Hibiscus Meringue at Damian
[Official Photo]

This local version of chef Enrique Olvera’s cornhusk meringue dessert gives a nod to the city’s love of jamaica (a popular hibiscus drink found at Mexican restaurants and taco stands all over town). The meringue tastes more tart than the original one served at Cosme in New York City, while a strawberry puree provides a sweet lift.

Hibiscus Meringue at Damian.
Hibiscus Meringue at Damian
[Official Photo]

Hakka Mochi at Joy

Hakka Mochi at Joy
Hakka Mochi at Joy
@GastronomyBlog

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 arrive dusted in peanut and black sesame powders.

Hakka Mochi at Joy
Hakka Mochi at Joy
@GastronomyBlog

S’mores Choco Taco at Agnes

S’mores Choco Taco at Agnes in Pasadena.
S’mores Choco Taco at Agnes in Pasadena.
Cathy Chaplin

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.

S’mores Choco Taco at Agnes in Pasadena.
S’mores Choco Taco at Agnes in Pasadena.
Cathy Chaplin

Tarte Tatin at Perle Restaurant

Tarte Tatin at Perle Restaurant.
Tarte Tatin at Perle Restaurant
[Official Photo]

It’s imperative to save room for Perle’s apple tarte tatin. The warm-from-the-oven tart boasts caramelized pastry edges, plenty of tender apples, and a tangy cinnamon-labneh cream that mellows out all that sweetness.

Tarte Tatin at Perle Restaurant.
Tarte Tatin at Perle Restaurant
[Official Photo]

Rice Cakes at Sichuan Impression

Rice cakes in a sugary syrup on a plate.
Chewy Rice Cakes at Sichuan Impression
Cathy Chaplin

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 sugary syrup on a plate.
Chewy Rice Cakes at Sichuan Impression
Cathy Chaplin

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