A self-described pumpkin enthusiast, Edward Allen has spent years seeking out every variety of seasonal squash-flavored product, from body scrubs to bubblegum to beer. We asked him to be Los Angeles magazine’s official holiday pumpkin correspondent, and lend his gourd-spertise to some of the season’s most outrageous pie-spiced goodies. (Note: He’s also one of the founders of local PR firm Urban + Allen; unfortunately for him, none of his clients are pumpkins.)
I was thrilled to see a lunch meeting at West Hollywood’s Fig & Olive on my calendar this week. I love their crostini so much, but when I saw that they were offering pumpkin sage ravioli on their fall menu I let out a gasp. Now, I like just about everything pumpkin, but I tend to shy away from pumpkin pastas as they usually lack real pumpkin punch. This dish, however, arrived looking impressively orange—like the pumpkin innards you scrape out when making jack-o’-lanterns, but like, way more refined and appetizing.
The ravioli arrive stuffed with free-range chicken, pumpkin, ricotta, and charmoula and sit atop a puree of butternut squash with just the right amount of garlic. They generously sprinkle a pumpkin olive oil emulsion, toasted pumpkin seeds, Parmesan, and aged balsamic over the whole thing and finish the dish with a little bit of dried sage. While a little pricey at $26, these ravioli are pumpkin heaven. We’d ask the restaurant to keep it on the menu year-round, but it just wouldn’t feel as special, would it?
Score: 5 Jack-O-Lanterns (out of 5!)
Fig & Olive, 8490 Melrose Pl., West Hollywood, 310-360-9100