Summer Desserts

We toast our favorite summer desserts, and the chefs behind them

L.A. pastry chefs have upped their game, and it's certainly paying off: We've highlighted six sweet endings that have swept us off our feet this summer.

Mint-Chip Ice Cream Pie Roxana Jullapat peruses cookbooks your grandmother probably owned for classic dessert inspiration, and her interpretations at Cooks County never cease to amaze. Her swoon-inducing mint-chip ice cream pie ($10), served with cocoa-dusted pecans and a generous drizzle of chocolate syrup, will transport you back to childhood birthday parties. 
Butterscotch Coconut Tart At Downtown's smoking-hot Bestia, chef Ori Menashe's fresh pasta gets the most attention, but it's the ephemeral Italian desserts of his wife, pastry chef Genevieve Gergis, that send diners home with a grin. Try the flaky-crusted butterscotch-coconut tart ($9), served with a quenelle of cool coconut sorbet and slices of stone fruit.
Monkey Bread While the gooey, caramel-laden cake known as monkey bread ($8) might evoke breakfast nostalgia for Southern transplants, it's a new treat for Abbot Kinney. At Salt Air, chef Greg Daniels serves the decadently soft, pull-apart sticky bun with pralines and rum-marinated raisins over a pool of crème anglaise.
Vietnamese Coffee Snow Pastry chef Ramon Perez's most refreshing Asian-inspired desserts at Hinoki & the Bird are his feather-light bowls of shaved ice. Our current favorite is the intensely aromatic Vietnamese coffee flavor ($9), tinged with the lightest hint of sugar and cream. Perez finishes the dessert with cubes of his own fermented coconut jelly–called nata de coco–made with dried, shaved coconut.
Blondie with Salted Caramel Ice Cream The menu at Connie and Ted's might seem casual, but with seafood guru Michael Cimarusti at the helm, the fried clams and lobster rolls that land on the plate are anything but. The same goes for pastry chef David Rodriguez's desserts: You've had a blondie ($9) before, but not like this. We still dream of the fork-tender brownie crowned with a melting scoop of salted caramel ice cream. 
Strawberry Macaron Sandwich How do you make an ice cream sandwich ($9) even better? Upgrade with house-baked vanilla-bean macarons, like Spanish pastry chef Cesar Bermundez Cifuentes is doing at Sawtelle's Flores. Like many of the dishes at the restaurant, the rich and creamy confection, filled with homemade strawberry ice cream, is best eaten with your hands.