Los Angeles is lovely in the spring, but things really heat up when summer arrives. Beat the heat this year with these five summery must-tastes.
Coconut Tart at Bestia: We're keeping an eye on pastry chef Genevieve Gergis. Her desserts at Bestia (in downtown's Arts District) shine brighter than even some chef Ori Menashe's pastas. Everyone loves the chocolate budino, but it's the coconut tart—with fresh coconut ice cream—that reminded us of the season. 2121 E. 7th Pl., Downtown, (213) 514-5724
Josephine's Clam Cakes at Connie & Ted's: We're hearing nothing but good things about Michael Cimarusti's newest restaurant. The clam cakes, which manage to be both meaty and creamy, remind us of summer on the other coast. 8171 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 848-2722
The Carrot Dog at Fritz Dog: Vegan or not, the carrot dog is something to experience at Neal Fraser's hot dog shop inside The Farmers Market. We discovered this root in a bun last summer, and haven't been able to stop thinking about it. Who knew a grilled carrot could be so meaty? 6333 W 3rd St., Los Angeles, FritziDog.com
Fried Shrimp Taco at Mariscos Jalisco: Bill Esparza alerted us to this dish of fried shrimp, "cradled in a white corn tortilla and fried whole, then topped with an effervescent tomato and cabbage salsa." The salsa turns up the heat, but avocado slices are there to cool it down. 3040 E Olympic Blvd., Boyle Heights
Grilled Lemongrass Banh Mi at Bun Me!: Earlier this year, our Deep End Diner, Eddie Lin, discovered Bun Me! a banh mi emporium in Northridge. The lemongrass chicken version, with "fragrant cilantro, peppy jalapenos, and house-made aioli" had him (and us) swooning. This is the kind of summer heat we love. 9420 Reseda Blvd. Ste. 5 Northridge