Chef Beau Bonham launched a rotating selection of fruit cobblers, including a version made with canned spice pears, cranberries, cinnamon, star anise, and Thai chili. It’s topped with Bonham’s signature brown sugar oatmeal walnut crumble, scoops of homemade vanilla custard, and a drizzle of house caramel. It’s got sugar, spice, and everything nice.
208 South Coast Highway, Oceanside
There is everything right and nothing terribly inventive about the dessert—until Florent’s new chef, Brad Hightow, adds foie gras to the mix. Hightow melts the foie and uses it as a replacement for butter in the classic fall dessert. The foie adds a just-barely-detectable nuttiness and some banned-food thrill. Crisped on top and served with maple syrup, strawberry–black pepper jam, and Chantilly cream, it eats thick, like a heartier French toast.
672 Fifth Avenue, Downtown
This number from pastry chef Amy Simpson is served in an oven-hot skillet, the eggy-sweet popover is packed with apples and figs, then topped with toasted hazelnuts and a side of sweet cream to drizzle over it all à la Jackson Pollock.
2550 5th Ave., #406, Bankers Hill
To put a summer spin on fall and winter flavors, Counterpoint has whipped up a s’mores ice cream made with a blend of marshmallow fluff and mini marshmallows, topped with housemade brown butter graham cracker crumbs and a stout-infused chocolate sauce.
830 25th Street, Golden Hill
The pillowy-soft dessert is made with coconut filling and a macadamia cookie crust, and garnished with macadamia nuts, coconut, and edible flowers. It’s light with a tropical tang—the perfect complement to the Italian eatery’s pizza- and pasta-focused menu.
1195 Island Avenue, East Village
In a case of next-level food pairings, Nomad Donuts partnered with Fall Brewing for a series of sudsy-sweet treats—an Irish coffee car bomb donut with a coffee and vanilla bean stout, a coffee maple bacon donut with a Mittens Schwartzbier, and a grapefruit thyme donut with a hibiscus drizzle with Loudspeaker Rye IPA.
4504 30th Street, North Park.
It has the special distinction of being the only item with a permanent spot on the dessert tray at Humphrey’s, and we can understand why. The classic chocolate mousse bon bon contains a brandied cherry and comes with a rich vanilla bean crème Anglaise and fresh fruit.
2241 Shelter Island Drive, Point Loma
Not much could distract us from the jaw-dropping bay views at Tidal, the recently remodeled restaurant at Paradise Point Resort & Spa. That is, until dessert comes. The chocolate stout whoopie pie is stacked with Nutella marshmallow filling between chocolate devil’s food cakes, then rolled in hazelnuts. It comes perfectly paired with a Hess Umbrix Stout.
1404 Vacation Road, Mission Bay
Turning up the volume on the same ol’ lava cake, Kettner Exchange’s Chocolate Cup combines a molten hot chocolate cake with Nutella powder, vanilla ice cream, and banana foam. Crack through the chocolate disk topper (sprinkled with 24-carat gold leaf) and devour quickly, as the hot-cold combo melts together almost instantly.
2001 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy
In celebration of Balboa Park’s centennial in 2015, Extraordinary Desserts unveiled its "Balboa" cake. The whiskey-moistened cake is layered with salted milk chocolate mousse and dark chocolate shortbread with a sprinkle of 24-karat gold leaf on top.
1430 Union Street, Little Italy