10 Great Desserts in OC and Long Beach
8. Chocolate Haupia Pie at North Shore Poke Company
Shawn Gole is responsible for the refreshing pokes North Shore Poke Company serves, but his sister Melissa, gets full credit for the chocolate haupia pie they serve for dessert. This is a pie which improves upon an often-overlooked traditional Hawaiian dessert of coconut-milk gelatin, now constructed into a two-layered, crumbly crusted wedge. Its saltiness combines so well with the sweet fluff of chocolate mousse and the jiggly coldness of haupia that it's the worthy sibling and follow-up to her brother's main dish. Ms. Gole gives to her haupia what Shawn Gole gives to his poke: respect.
9. Butterscotch Pot De Creme at Lola Gaspar
Caramel and sea salt is so ten years ago, but hey if something works, it works. The concept of something sweet undercut by something, um, salty is applied again at Lola Gaspar's butterscotch pot de crème, a lidded jar filled with a silky-sweet pudding that finishes with sea salt tickling your tongue. It's served in a charming flip-top jar, dolloped with a cloud of whipped cream, and when you finish it, you'll debate whether you want to wipe the glass clean with your finger.
10. Chocolate Soufflé at Bistro Bleu
Just like at any uppity French places that would charge twice as much, you should order the soufflé at least a half-hour in advance at Bistro Bleu. But at $6, Bistro Bleu's automatically distinguishes itself as the most reasonably priced soufflé in the county. Though this soufflé is a shade lighter than most, it's also fluffier and comes with a soupier chocolate sauce that doesn't overpower the delicateness of its tenuous existence as an air-puffed brownie. And yet the same kind of formality precedes the soufflé here as it does at any Michelin-starred place: A server will cut a small hole at the top with a spoon, then pour the sauce and send dollops of cream down the well.