Los Angeles: Carmela Ice Cream
There's this big craze right now with this stuff called Halo Top ice cream and I recently found out it started in West Hollywood. Which completely makes sense because it's some low-calorie ice cream that doesn't actually taste like low-calorie. Like it doesn't have that powdery protein powder after taste. My point is I've personally tried it, and aside from some flavors being a little too sweet, classics vanilla bean and chocolate hit the spot.
My point — other than alarming you to a great new ice cream — is I think most of the best desserts (aside from Jeni's) may come from Los Angeles. This has been proven to me time and again with places like Churro Burro and Afters Ice Cream, Saffron & Rose, (among many many others) and now Carmela. It's not necessarily some inventive concoction like the first two, but it is darn good handmade ice cream.
And the flavors can be just as experimental. Such as rose petal, white peach vanilla bean, rosemary with toasted pine nuts...it's also seasonal so flavors are subject to change and reinvent. They also teach classes out of their Pasadena creamery #goingonmylist.
My favorite part about their location I went to near the Grove, is I felt like VIP when April (who graciously shared this place with me) just went through the doors that separate the people behind the counter from the people ordering, and went straight through to the back. Turns out there's a whole lounge area there with a photo booth and more. It was pretty swanky.
Plus this location is right near the Grove and Farmers Market, so you've got a solid excuse to eat more food and go shopping.