Fall Fun

Beyond Basic Pumpkin Spice: Where to Gobble Up the Flavor of the Season

Photo by Sydney Yorkshire/Courtesy of Atrium

With sunny skies and 70-degree days, it’s never very obvious that it’s autumn in Los Angeles. But there are subtle hints everywhere, most notably at restaurants and bars all over town. That’s where you’ll see pumpkin everything, from savory dips to over-the-top cocktails. Why should Starbucks and Spam (yes, there is pumpkin-spiced Spam this year) have all the fun? Here are a few pumpkin delights to help you fall into fall.

Photo by Sydney Yorkshire/Courtesy of Atrium

Pumpkin Seed Hummus at Atrium
In Los Feliz, the greenhouse-like spot has a few things to amp up the season, including a pumpkin seed hummus served with carrot escabeche for dipping, and a pumpkin oat milk ice cream topped with frosted walnuts and pecans. Going for brunch? There’s a pumpkin spice tartine that almost puts avocado toast to shame. 1816 North Vermont Avenue

Pumpkin Parmigiana at Osteria Cal Mare
The Beverly Center’s Italian-focused favorite isn’t just about seafood. Chef Adam Sobel regularly brings seasonal ingredients to the menu, including a very hearty pumpkin parmigiana this fall. Roasted pumpkin is layered with smoky Scamorza cheese and rich pomodoro sauce, and topped with toasty garlic crumble and pumpkin seeds for added texture. It’s homey and refined all at once—and vegetarian, to boot. 8500 Beverly Boulevard, Suite 115, Ground Floor

Photo by Jen Chase/Courtesy of Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

Pumpkin Spice Everything at Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken
There’s one thing most doughnut shops jumping into the pumpkin spice fray don’t have: fried chicken. At both the downtown and Santa Monica locations, you can get fried chicken sandwiched on pumpkin spice doughnuts with pumpkin-chutney coleslaw; a pillowy doughnut filled with pumpkin-spiced pastry cream; or a pumpkin-glazed raised doughnut topped with toasted pumpkin seeds. To wash it all down: pumpkin-spiced draft lattes, beer, and even sparkling wine. 516 West 6th Street; 2309 Main Street

Photo by Nastassia Johnson/Courtesy of Cafe Monkey

Pumpkin Cake at Cake Monkey
It’s impossible not to want everything when you walk in this Beverly Grove bake shop, but this time of year it’s even more difficult. New this season is a pumpkin cake with maple buttercream and spiced pecan crumble—in full or mini sizes—spiced pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and a pumpkin loaf topped with roasted pumpkin seeds. 7807 Beverly Boulevard

Pumpkin Petits Fours at Valerie Bakery & Cafe
What can be better than gently spiced pumpkin cake layered in cream cheese ganache? The fact that they’re petits fours (bite-size cakes) means that in theory you don’t have to stop at one. Pop by the Echo Park café for a taste alongside wonderful teas for a rather refined albeit hipster treat. 1665 Echo Park Avenue

Photo courtesy of Yours Truly/Facebook

Pumpkin Spiced Tres Leches at Yours Truly
Chef Vartan Abgaryan has a way with ingredients at this wildly popular Abbot Kinney neighborhood spot. Taking inspiration from the colors and flavors of L.A., he’s created his own spin on the Latin classic tres leches by soaking vanilla sponge cake in spiced leche, layering it with pumpkin mousse, and topping with a maple pepita tuille. 1616 Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Photo courtesy of Bar Figueroa/Facebook

Pumpkin Spiced Spiked Coffee at Bar Figueroa
The main bar at the historic Hotel Figueroa downtown is an excellent place for a cocktail, and even more so this time of year. Move over, pumpkin spiced lattes. This shaker features a double shot of Luxxe espresso with vodka and cinnamon syrup, strained into a glass and layered with a float of pumpkin spice Bailey’s and fresh whipped cream. You could probably get away with this on some mornings, but it’s best left to the night owls. 939 South Figueroa Street, Suite 400