We might be the only place in the country where fall feels like summer, but autumn in Los Angeles still means it’s time for pumpkin. But what about pumpkin cravings that go beyond traditional Thanksgiving pie and Starbucks lattes that don’t even have any real pumpkin in them anyway? From lusciously affordable pumpkin facials to the most incredible liquid pumpkin pie, find out where to go for more creative takes on the tasty fall gourd.
Pumpkin Lattes & Mochas @ Sabor Y Cultura
Forget the pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks. Those have zero pumpkin and are pumped full of chemicals. For a real fall drink try the homemade creations at Sabor Y Cultura in East Hollywood. They serve a delicious pumpkin spice latte as well as pumpkin chai latte and pumpkin mocha (photo above) made with your choice of milk (dairy, almond or soy). I say, si, por favor!
Pumpkin Facial @ Embody Esthetics
Fix your face for fall for just fifty bucks! The tiny Embody Esthetics spa on South Robertson packs a pampering punch with its $55 Pumpkin Peel (regularly $100). Great for fighting free radicals, reducing superficial lines and maintaining moisture, the gentle peel is safe for any skin type, including acne and rosacea. You can also do the pumpkin peel with vitamin C for $65. Offer good through November 30. Call 310-779-2444 to book an appointment.
Pumpkin Pie Magic Milkshake @ Paleta
Hands down, the MOST AMAZE pumpkin experience is Paleta’s pumpkin pie “magic milkshake,” which has no dairy and tons of flavor! It’s creamy and rich and just a touch grainy with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Absolutely addictive and oh so satisfying. It’s also part of the Paleta Two-Day Detox (notice the lid on the photo above), but you can enjoy these anytime. It’s pumpkin pie in a bottle.
Pumpkin Sage Ravioli @ Fig & Olive
Fig & Olive is known for its flavorful (and amazingly butter-free) food and one of the standout dishes this season is the pumpkin sage ravioli made with free-range chicken, ricotta, pumpkin olive oil emulsion, toasted pumpkin seeds and Parmesan. At $26 it’s on the pricier side, but if you’re gonna splurge, may as well do it here.
Pumpkin Nuage @ Bo Nuage
This chic little Parisian-style bakery on Melrose is whipping up “nuage” (aka cloud cakes) this fall with a new pumpkin-ginger flavor. Offered in two varieties, both come with a double layer of meringue filled with flavored whipped cream. One is covered in chocolate flakes while the other “naked” one is dairy-free. Each cake is $6. Oui oui!
Pumpkin Colada @ Cana Rum Bar
If you like pina coladas … well, actually, how about switching things up for a change? Cana Rum Bar in Downtown LA is ushering in the longer, cooler nights with a tasty twist on the classic colada thanks to a mix of 100-proof Kentucky rye, 151 Guyanese rum, coconut cream, pumpkin butter and pumpkin puree. It’s autumn all grown up.
Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt @ Menchie’s
Now you can swirl a cup of sweet calabasa (that’s Spanish, in case you didn’t know) thanks to Menchie’s, which just introduced its featured fall flavor, Harvest Pumpkin. The froyo comes in a plain white cup that magically comes to life when filled with the cold treat, revealing colorful Halloween symbols. Yummy fun!
Pumpkin Cupcake @ Hansen’s Cakes
Finally, a cupcake that doesn’t cost more than lunch. Hansen’s mini cupcakes are just 50 cents and the perfect bite-size sweet treat. The frosting itself is actually worth eating unlike some of those other overhyped, overpriced cupcakes. Try the Pumpkin Spice version if you love a heavy-on-the-spice sorta pumpkin experience.
Pumpkin Spice Margarita @ Sol Cocina
It’s always a party at this waterfront spot in Newport Beach and every fall they add a pumpkin spice margarita to their huge list of popular cocktails. Featuring Don Julio Blanco, agave nectar, fresh lime juice, roasted pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon, the pumpkin marg is not too sweet and just a touch spicy. You can also get a virgin version that’s just as good.
Savory Pumpkin Pop Tart @ Tender Greens
Tender Greens is best known for salads, but the local restaurant chain also knows how to bake a few good things. For fall, you’ll find the Savory Pumpkin Pop Tart ($5) filled with warm Fairy Tale or Cinderella pumpkin, pecans, brown sugar, sage and mascarpone cheese. While you’re at it, throw in the housemade Pumpkin Spice cookies, too.
Pumpkin Creme Brulee @ Ayara Thai
Would you like some creme brulee with your Pad Thai? Well, now you can have it all at Ayara Thai. The restaurant’s famed Pumpkin Creme Brulee is back beginning Friday, October, 17. It’s only on the menu for a very short time, so get it while you can.
Pumpkin Spice Mani & Pedi @ The Green Room
Get ready to indulge all your senses at the Green Room, Santa Monica’s best-kept spa secret. The Pumpkin Spice mani/pedi treatment ($45 for 1.5 hours) begins with a pumpkin brown sugar scrub followed by a natural pumpkin mask. Hot paraffin wax and oils are then applied to ensure moisture. It’s all topped off with a deep foot and hand massage with pumpkin lotion. You can also do the Pumpkin Spice Enzyme Facial ($75 for one hour) and Pumpkin Spice Foot & Leg Massage ($29 for 30 minutes). Bonus: All treatments come with a complimentary pumpkin spice latte! Valid through October.
Pumpkin Pie Soda @ Monsieur Marcel or Whole Foods
For a sweet and sparkly drink this season, try Maine Root Pumpkin Pie Soda. It’s refreshing and bubbly and only around this time of year, so why not?
Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Navarin @ Cliff’s Edge
Silver Lake mainstay Cliff’s Edge has a colorful fall dish made with squash and pumpkin. It’s a Butternut Squash navarin with smoked tomato harissa, pomegranate, pumpkin seeds, sage and pumpkin oil. Bonus: It’s totally vegan.
Pumpkin Pedicure @ Nail Lounge
Indulge your feet this fall with the Pampering Pumpkin Pedicure at the Nail Lounge in Costa Mesa. Intended to help dry, flaky and callused feet, the $72 treatment (which lasts about an hour and 15 minutes) includes a pumpkin scrub, warming pumpkin mask, leg and foot massage, warm paraffin wax treatment and, of course, pedicure. Even better, the treatment uses Bella Lucce products, which promote fair trade and organic ingredients.
Lifestyle writer Mar Yvette is on a mission to bring you the best people, places and products to make your life pop!