The Astronomer and I made our way to Friends & Family in East Hollywood as soon as dinner service commenced earlier this summer. Following a feast of Spretzels, stone fruit salad, chicken liver mousse with pickled apricots, clams, and grilled lamb merguez sausages, we selected a dessert each to finish. When Chef Roxana Jullapat is behind the oven, it’s futile to compromise on a single dessert—better to order whatever one’s heart desires.
The Chocolate Buckwheat Cake ($11) with miso caramel, toasted coconut flakes, and coffee ice cream was the dreamiest dessert I’ve eaten this year. Every element on the plate, from the dense, rich, and deeply chocolatey cake to the intriguingly salty caramel sauce and java-spiked ice cream, was swoon-worthy perfection. The plate was scraped clean and then some.
The Astronomer was equally smitten with his selection, the Huckleberry Meringue ($11). According to our server, fans of the dessert from the chef’s days at Cook’s County drive across town to reunite with it at Friends & Family. After one taste of the blueberry compote and blueberry ice cream sandwiched between the crisp-sweet meringue, we both agreed that it was worth braving traffic for.
Desserts sometimes feel like an afterthought on restaurant menus, but that is not the case at Friends & Family, where sweets and savories are equally elevated. Each of Chef Roxana Jullapat’s creations were thoughtful—artful even—and most importantly, an absolute pleasure to eat.
Friends & Family
5150 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90027
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