While we’re tired of the sticky, sweaty days of our city’s extended summer, we’re certainly grateful for any excuse to cool down with some sweet, refreshing treats. But while froyo has always been a trusty and convenient solution, we’ve decided now is a great time to go and explore some alternative desserts. After all, those with sweet tooths deserve a chance to claim refined palates of their own. From deep-fried pop tarts served with ice cream, to alcoholic boba, we’ve got a sweet fix for you.
Ice Cream Sandwich
Where: Night + Market | 9043 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA
Thai street food restaurant Night + Market is notorious for its bracing hot meals, and to cool it down, Chef Kris Yenbamroong serves up a Thai rendition of the classic American ice cream sandwich: grilled sweet bread stuffed with coconut sticky rice and a scoop of coconut ice cream, topped with toasted mung beans and sweetened condensed milk. Simple, yet refreshingly delicious, this “sandwich” is a winning formula.
Where: Boba 7 | 518 West 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Regular boba is a cult favorite, but imagine adding a little bit of alcohol to the mix–or in Boba 7’s case, mega-shots of it. From their menu, bobagasm caught our eye. I mean, “-gasm” at the end is sure to grab attention. This boba concoction — a combination of kahlua and baileys with delectable balls of honey–is sure to delight those looking to be efficient in satiating their sugar/alcohol vices. Also worth mentioning is their Green Tea Heinekin boba. Beer and boba? Who’d have thought?
Where: Mo-Chica | 514 West 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Over at Mo-Chica, a contemporary Peruvian restaurant downtown, Chef Ricardo Zarate is serving up a healthy dose of vegetables for dessert in his picarones beignets. Sweet potato and kabocha, a type of Peruvian squash, are deep fried, dusted with sugar and served alongside a shot glass full of chancaca honey dressing. Extremely light and fluffy, the delicate dessert is a fan favorite.
Sweet Corn Crepes
Where: Napa Valley Grille | 1100 Glendon Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024
The best part of these crepes at the Napa Valley Grille is 1) they are gluten-free, and 2) they fulfill your sweet tooth! The corn crepes by themselves aren’t overly sweet, but with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and fresh blueberries, your sugar rush is met without having to live with the guilt.
Pat Bing Soo (Korean Shaved Ice)
Where: Miss Coffee | 300 S. Hobart Boulevard Suite 101, Los Angeles, CA 90020
The base of pat bing soo may be the same — shaved ice and sweet red adzuki beans — but not all come in a huge Pyrex measuring cups. Miss Coffee gives you an equivalent of eight bowls in one order — so definitely bring your homies. Have an open mind about the sweet toppings and try your hardest to cool down whilst trying hard not to think about the cups’ conversion to calories.
Deep Fried Pop Tarts
Where: Beer Belly | 532 South Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Not sure how to make a childhood favorite better? You fry it and add ice cream, obviously! It’s like Beer Belly is making up for all the times you were sent to bed without dessert. The traumatic time will melt away forever once you eat a spoonful of this, we promise.
Simplified Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar
Photo credit: Frisee Waltz
Where: Animal | 435 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Oh, c’mon y’all. This is LA. What would this list be without the quintessential LA-made bacon dessert craze? Animal’s signature bacon chocolate crunch bar was originally introduced in 2009 but still remains to be a favorite to this day. The chocolate tart is so rich that the salt from the bacon alone can’t tone it down, so the crunch bar’s creators Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo paired it with a salt and pepper ice cream to balance out all that chocolately-rich goodness.
In your haste to recover from your 4th of July weekend shenanigans, you may have missed the fact that Monday was National Chocolate Day. But let’s not pretend we don’t want every day to be National Chocolate Day. While we wish we could fly to New York or Vegas and eat chocolate fondue at Max Brenner’s all day, why do that when we can overdose on chocolate in our own backyard?
We geared up for the tough task of chocolate-tasting around the city to bring you this round-up of Los Angeles spots with off-menu (read: kinda secret) chocolate items and other get-it-while-you-can chocolate goodies, so you can celebrate the city’s own chocolate secrets, everyday. These items, of course, are subject to availability, so make sure you call ahead before you head out on your indulgent chocolate adventure.
What originally began as a pop-up coffee shop soon became a permanent namesake in Los Angeles’s coffee culture when Cognoscenti Coffee opened up shop in Culver City. Aside from attracting regulars and curious coffee heads, the shop has also wooed customers with their secret menu item: Hot Chocolate. Even better than homemade, their mix is a decadent concoction brewed with organic cocoa beans and Straus Family Creamery’s barista milk.
6114 Washington Blvd., Culver City, (310) 363-7325, popupcoffee.com
Although Craig’s is known for its high-profile celebrity sightings, this Hollywood restaurant may still have a few secrets of their own. For those feeling a little adventurous, the Chocolate Pizza off their mystery menu is worth a try. Craig’s chefs prepare the dessert by melting three types of chocolate chips, bittersweet, white and milk, over a honey wheat pizza crust. The flatbread is then sprinkled with cookie crumbs before being topped off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Hot and cold, warm and chewy.
8826 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, (310), 276-1900, craigs.la
The restaurant was founded in 2011 by Amy Pressman and Bill Chait who had a common love for preparing meals with locally grown and organic ingredients. Today, Short Order exists as a fast but casual two-story establishment with an outdoor patio to enjoy the daytime glow and evening breeze. Those wanting to try their secret menu can try their luck ordering a Black Forest Custard Shake. If available, the shake is the perfect sweetness to any Short Order meal. The drink is a mixture of chocolate custard milkshake and cherry compote, drizzled with chocolate chunks and topped off with a dark cherry.
6333 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles, (323) 761-7970, shortorderla.com
Those looking to experiment with new flavors might find ChocolateBox Cafe a hot chocolate revival for the taste buds. Although no longer a secret, the Belgian-inspired cafe has released their off-menu list of gourmet hot chocolate selections melted from the finest flavored chocolate shavings. The cafe has curated a mix of unlikely flavors including Cinnamon, Ginger and Earl Grey.