LA's Best Fall Pumpkin Dishes

Going way beyond pumpkin pie
October 15, 2014
by Lesley Balla

While so much attention this time of year gets focused on how pumpkin is used and infused with bread, pie and lattes, there's just so much more that can be done with food and drinks. Luckily we have very talented and clever chefs around LA who incorporate fall's most ubiquitous squash into their delicious autumnal creations, sometimes in the unlikeliest of places. Here's where to find some of the best.

Beelman’s Pub: Roasted squash soup is one of the most glorious things about fall. The silky roasted pumpkin soup at the Historic Core gastropub gets added oomph from tellegio fondue, shemeji mushrooms, Asian pear and pumpkin seed oil. At its sibling Sixth Street Tavern just down the block, there's also a pumpkin grilled cheese with sage, asiago, gruyere and jack cheeses, and brown butter. Think of this duo as your bar-hopping after-school special.

Bo Nuage: The diminutive Parisian-style bakery on Melrose has pumpkin "nuage" cakes for fall. The delicate treats, basically two meringue layers filled with flavored whipped cream and topped with chocolate flakes, are just sweet enough, just pumpkin-y enough.

Girasol: Chef CJ Jacobson has a lovely long-roasted pumpkin dish on the menu right now. It's served with the equally seasonal chocolate persimmon, and California green juniper berry, condensed buttermilk and walnuts.

El Condor: The Silver Lake Mexican spot doesn't just have a great happy hour. Chef Spencer Bezaire also regularly switches things up on the menu, like adding roasted pumpkin mulitas with spicy pumpkin seed and chile arbol salsa for the season.

Faith & Flower: Tacos might be the last thing you'd expect to see at the swank Downtown restaurant, but chef Michael Hung is making duck confit tacos with roasted pumpkin salsa. Actually, considering his kimchi deviled eggs are extremely popular, tacos fit right in for the fall.

Shojin: All squash are staples in vegan cuisine, especially in the fall, and the Culver City and Downtown spot works magic with different varieties. Last year it was pumpkin carbonara, this year it's crispy rice topped with pumpkin. It's almost like spicy tuna on crispy rice but...not. 

Pitfire Artisan Pizza: Always working with seasonal ingredients, this local chain will have pumpkin pizza starting Thursday, October 16 at all locations. It's made with roast pumpkin, sage, greens, fontina and brown butter, and is available throughout the fall season.

Chaya Brasserie: Giving tiramisu an autumnal twist, the dessert at the Beverly Hills stalwart is layered with pumpkin mascarpone and topped with maple creme anglaise and toasted pumpkin seeds. You'll also find it at Chaya Downtown and Venice.

DeSano Pizza Bakery: Of course this East Hollywood Neapolitan pizza joint has great wood-fired pies, but they also serve a mean cannoli. Now throughout October, get them with pumpkin ricotta filling served with a chocolate drizzle and white chocolate chips.

Sycamore Kitchen: Karen Hatfield's pumpkin walnut galette is a thing of fall beauty, simple and buttery and spiced just right. Ok, it's sort of like pumpkin pie, which is also available, only different. Dare we even say better? Find both throughout the season at the Hatfields' La Brea cafe and bakery.