Pumpkin Loving in LA
September 17, 2010
I just decided: I’m adding Pumpkins to my list of favorite foods.
I think part of the Pumpkin appeal is the seasonality. I know fall is here in So Cal when Starbucks brings back the Pumpkin Spice Latte and IHOP starts flipping Pumpkin Pancakes. If summer has to end, at least I get a consolation prize.
This is my list and opinions of various Pumpkin delights found in the LA area. If you know about some Pumpkin deliciousness that I haven’t mentioned here, let me know where to find it in the comments section and, in the name of research, I will happily go sample it!
Pumpkin Spice Latte: A-
I get it with soy. Nommy creamy goodness. Makes the California autumn seem like autumn. Sometimes, I feel like it could be a little more pumpkinny…I haven’t tried asking for extra pumpkin syrup though. I’m a little afraid that might just make it disgusting.
Pumpkin Scone: A
Not only is this scone moist (for a scone), with good pumpkin flavor, but the icing is perfect. Sweet enough, but not sickeningly so.
Pumpkin Bread: A
Moist, pumpkiny, delish. Pumpkin seeds on top.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin: B+: Incredibly moist. A bit too much with the cream cheese though…I didn’t finish it.
Dominick’s in WeHo:
Pumpkin Rye Whiskey Cocktail: A+
This drink is amazing. A friend heard rumor of it last year, so we stopped in and asked our server about it. He reacted with: “How did you know about the Pumpkin Cocktail???” Apparently he’d just invented it a few days earlier. Word travels fast…anyways, it’s got Pumpkin puree, rye whiskey, nutmeg, and a dollop of whipped cream. I tried to re-create it but it wasn’t quite the same…I might be missing an ingredient or two. I’m not sure when or if they’re offering it this year, but I intend to find out.
Pumpkin Pie Yogurt: A
This stuff is gooood. Extra points for being able to serve yourself the exact amount you want. I’m more of a toppings girl so I get a little bit of yogurt and then (on this flavor) heap on some cheesecake cubes and graham cracker dust. It’s magical.
Bennett’s Ice Cream at the Farmers Market(Grove)
Pumpkin Ice Cream: A+
This place has been churning out good old fashioned ice cream since before you were born. They know what they’re doing. Trust. Serious creamy cinnamony goodness.
Pumpkin Pancake Mix:A
Tested this with a friend, and even though we used rice milk instead of regular milk, they came out delish! Fluffy, pumpkiny, filling. It was made even more amazing by putting Pumpkin Maple Butter on top (see below). I want to try waffles.
Pumpkin Maple Butter: A
Make ANYTHING Pumpkin flavored with this topping! So far I’ve only spread it on Pumpkin Pancakes, though the jar instructs you to heat it up and drizzle it over ice cream. Um, do I really need to be pouring butter on my ice cream? It’s pretty sweet and has a baby food consistency but it definitely accentuate the Pumpkin flavor of our flapjacks.
Pumpkin Pie: A+
One of the best Pumpkin Pies I’ve ever had. It’s fluffy – not as dense as normal Pumpkin Pie – and the graham crust is extra thick and has ginger in it. Nom! Get a scoop of their amazing vanilla bean ice cream and you’re in comfort food heaven.
Kabocha Squash Soup: A
It’s the Japanese equivalent of Pumpkin, so I’ll include it. Plus they sprinkle Pumpkin seeds on top. This place is near my work and this soup is my favorite choice for lunch. It’s nice and thick (not watery) and has caramelized onions, carrots and garlic pureed into it too. NOM!
For future research, I still need to sample the Pumpkin Smoothies at Jamba Juice and Earthbar.
And, I need to hunt for the best of one of my ABSOLUTE favorite Pumpkin dishes: Pumpkin Tortellini with a butter sage sauce. I used to LOVE it a Allegria on PCH in Malibu, but they have since closed. I’m pretty sure I’ve had some bomb-ass Pumpkin Tortellini at Osteria Mozza (my favorite restaurant in LA), but I can’t recall if it was Pumpkin or Butternut Squash…
Speaking of Butternut Squash (which I also love love love), there’s restaurant downtown called Zucca (Italian for … guess what??) that I really must go to. But, um…I just checked online and it looks like their dishes are all made with Butternut Squash, not Pumpkin. What’s up with that?
Tomorrow night I’ll be testing out recipes for Pumpkin Gnocchi and Pumpkin Martinis with the Pumpkin Pancake friend. If the recipes pass our vigorous taste testing, I’ll post them!
Happy Pumpkin loving!