Pastry chef Xan Lynch understands what dessert is all about. Never a necessity, dessert is how we treat ourselves, how we give ourselves the gift of a little levity, a small delight. Lola’s summer dessert menu hearkens back to childhood days when summer meant freedom and fun.
Let’s start with the snickerdoodle ice cream sandwich. This is one of two portable desserts, wrapped in paper and designed to be taken with you after your meal, perhaps while you stroll around the Highlands neighborhood that Lola has become so much a part of. This dessert is perfection. Salted caramel ice cream from Little Man Ice Cream Shop is sandwiched between two chewy house-made cookies made with the classic snickerdoodle cinnamon and sugar along with a playful hint of ancho chili and sea salt. I enjoyed mine paired with Tres Manos Anejo Tequila, a nice complement with its smooth, almost sweet flavor.
For a slightly more sophisticated, but still playful dessert. I would recommend the beautifully plated almond cake and grilled stone fruit. Lynch intentionally left the type of fruit featured vague, so that he would be able to incorporate different fruits as they came into season. When I tried it, the triangles of almond cake drizzled in blueberry compote, the side dollop of blueberry goat cheese and marcona almonds were accompanied by three glistening slices of grilled peach. The play between these different elements adds up to an elegant, yet easily accessible dessert. I savored mine in-between sips of Sotol, a cousin to the more familiar tequila and mezcal.
I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention the s’mores, which comes out hot, gooey and on an actual stick and the salted oreo choco taco, another hand held dessert with ice cream from Ice Cream Alchemy that will thrill you the way the magical melody of an ice cream truck did when you were a kid. And even though we are reveling in the fun of childhood summers, we are adults and we deserve our fun too. Try one of Lola’s specialty drinks, either a Mexican coffee or a Black Mexican Martini made with Jameson, 1921 Crema and Patron xo. Delicious.
After my carnival ride of a tasting after I thanked and complemented Xan Lynch on his summer dessert menu, he replied, “I have fun with what I do. It’s really just playing with food.”
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