500 E. First St.
Long Beach, CA 90302
With local farmers as this highly regarded hotel restaurant’s self-proclaimed “backbone,” it’s no surprise that pumpkins hold court in both an awe-inspiring dish and a hearty drink served this season in this legendary Long Beach Marriott outlet. Their fall special, a vegan red pumpkin soup, offers a cavalcade of tastes as made with gochujang, coconut milk, spicy pepitas and apple chutney. Meanwhile, from the bar, the aptly named Jack Skellington Manhattan is a glass filled with a skilled combination of Joshua Brooks bourbon, Corbin Cash rye, sweet potato, Gran Classico liqueur and–the pièce de résistance–pumpkin spice.
1631 Montana Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
If dessert is on your mind and the reason for your hunger pangs, head straight for Santa Monica’s Sweet Lady Jane (with branches in Encino and West Hollywood, too) for pumpkin treats beyond belief. Of particular note is the creamy pumpkin cheese cake as well as the top-notch pumpkin pie, a seasonal sensation if ever there was one. Talk about comfort food.
6115 Sunset Blvd., Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA
Another extraordinary enterprise that has grabbed the pumpkin by the stem to make what some consider the quintessential pumpkin spice latte is the delectable Paley, located in Hollywood’s hopping Columbia Square. Once there, ask your consummate barkeep to make this memorable sauce for you and you’ll be served a vodka and vanilla bean liqueur-based libation made with roasted pumpkin as a key ingredient alongside cinnamon and nutmeg seasonings. Yum!
8752 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
American and European country cooking is in ample supply thanks to farm-to-table treats that are keen on seasonal ingredients at this Sunset Boulevard establishment. This is particularly so with fall’s abundance of pumpkins used in many dishes made specifically for customized menus personalized by the talented in-house chef. Offerings of this nature are available for every course, with the pumpkin dessert a real winner and the pumpkin spice latte–a martini glass full of espresso-infused dark rum–a definite kick starter.
12406 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90066
Pumpkin tempura is all the rage as a key ingredient in Shojin’s creatively called Kiss Of the Spider Woman carte choice. Also included in this complex Japanese dish, referred to as a soft shell crab roll and served with a chia yuan ponzu sauce, are daikon radish sprouts, asparagus and enoki mushrooms. No doubt. This dish is sheer perfection and then some.