By Lesley Balla
No matter how you slice it, avocado toast is still a thing. There’s a seemingly endless appetite for it — currently more than 450,000 versions (and counting) hashtagged on Instagram as we write this, and Bon Appetit and the New Yorker both recently took deep-dives into its history (sorry, Australia, but LA has been serving avo toast since the 1930s) and place in our culture. But there’s a lot more you can do with avocado than mash it on a slice of bread, and our local chefs know it. Here are 10 great uses of avocado on menus all over town, from cocktails to tempura to cool and creamy desserts.
Credit: Rachel Jacobson
Charred avocado at Kali
Kevin Meehan chars an avocado and serves it simply with pistachios, shaved vegetables and a fine herb salad. It’s quintessential California on a plate.
5722 Melrose Ave.; 323-871-4160
Credit: Waldorf Astoria
Avocado carpaccio pizza at Jean-Georges Beverly Hills
Considering this is the land of avocado toast, you might assume this avocado pizza was created exclusively for LA. In reality it’s been a staple at many of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurants around the world for years. But it’s a shoo-in here, like avocado toast on steroids: a sweet, soft pizza base topped with slices of avocado, a spritz of lime, cilantro and serrano chiles.
9850 Wilshire Blvd.; 310-860-6566
Avocado tempura at Wolf
This casual Melrose spot from Marcel Vigneron isn’t vegetarian, but there are quite a few veg-friendly dishes that make it a good stop for omnivores and herbivores alike. He tempura-fries slices of ripe avocado and serves it with cotija crema, pickled onion and ranchero sauce.
7661 Melrose Ave.; 323-424-7735
Avocado soup at Prawn
Mark Peel changed up his Bombo seafood stall at the Grand Central Market, and with that change came new dishes like this chilled avocado and cucumber soup. With yogurt added for extra creaminess and grilled shrimp as a garnish, it’s a soup made for long summers in LA.
317 S. Broadway
Credit: Alicia Cho
Avocado salad at Craft LA
While the menu tends to change with the seasons at Tom Colicchio’s Century City restaurant, this avocado salad with tomatillos, sorrel and spiced peanuts remains. Why? Because we’re in Los Angeles and it can.
10100 Constellation Blvd.; 310-279-4180
Credit: The Wallace
“Avocado is Extra” at The Wallace
This hidden gem in Culver City takes a walk on the wild side with this avocado-based cocktail. Made with pisco, Ancho Reyes Verde chile liquor and lime, the creaminess from the avocado adds just the right kind of cool.
3833 Main St.; 310-202-6400
Avocado hummus at Momed
Avocado replaces chickpeas in this hummus, which also has tahini and lemon for a creamy, cool dip. It’s served on its own with warm flatbread, pickles and marinated olives, or as part of a plate with other spreads at the Atwater Village and Beverly Hills restaurants.
3245 Casitas Ave.; 323-522-3488
233 S. Beverly Dr.; 310-270-4444
Credit: The Rockefeller
Stuffed avocado at The Rockefeller Gastropub
You may or may not have heard about the crazy kids serving lattes in halved avocado skins. That seems like such a waste. Halved avocados are great vehicles for things like lobster meat, a summer offering at this Manhattan Beach gastropub. Toasted just enough to make it crispy on top, it’s a perfect carb-free entree. Also available at the Hermosa Beach location.
1209 Highland Ave.; 310-545-5810
Credit: Salt & Straw
Avocado sherbet at Salt & Straw
Out of all of the wild flavors this growing chain offers, avocado sherbet seems downright mundane. But it doesn’t taste boring. The creamy and bright sherbet comes laced with ribbons of strawberry vanilla bean jam, and is always available at all (now) five locations: Larchmont, Studio City, West Hollywood, DTLA and Venice.
Cococado at Vinoteca
Four Seasons’ executive pastry chef Federico Fernandez created with chocolate dessert for the daytime cafe and evening wine bar at the Beverly Hills hotel. The natural lushness of whipped avocado adds depth to this chocolate mousse, which is sided by more chocolate (a brownie) and avocado (ice cream). The fact that avocados are rich in antioxidants and healthy fats means it’s good for you.
300 S. Doheny Dr.; 310-273-2222