Fresh Cherries

Summer is the time for irresistible fresh cherries.

vermont: The individual cherry tart here has a nice thin crust and is filled with cherries cooked in just a little lemon and sugar and topped with a large dollop of creme fraiche. If you're a cherry purist, get the chilled bowl of fresh cherries for dessert. (Cherry tart with creme fraiche, $7; chilled bowl of fresh cherries, $6.) vermont, 1714 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz, (323) 661-6163.

Sage: Sit in the garden and have an aromatic fruit soup with pistachio ice cream on top. It's grapefruit juice with mint, honey, spices and fresh summer fruits such as cherries, peaches, papayas, strawberries and plums. (Fruit soup with pistachio ice cream, $6.50.) Sage, Eastbluff Center, 2531 Eastbluff Drive, Newport Beach, (949) 718-9650.

JiRaffe: Pastry chef Artemio Sanchez's rich Manjari chocolate torte is covered with Bing cherries sauteed in a little Port with orange zest and cinnamon. It comes with subtle black currant tea ice cream and a buttery cookie. (Manjari chocolate torte, $7.) JiRaffe, 502 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 917-6671.

Josie: Here you can start with a venison frisee salad sprinkled with cherries, goat cheese and pistachios. Then get the pork (or the elk) with cherry sauce and finish with buttery cherry mascarpone cream torte, as delicious as it is beautiful. (Warm Millbrook venison salad, $14; pork with savory cherry sauce, $26; elk, $32; Rainier cherry mascarpone cream torte, $8.) Josie, 2424 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 581-9888.

Europane: Sumi Chang's rustic cherry pie is a free-form crust baked with a topping of sour cherry compote caramelized in its own juices. (Individual rustic cherry pie, $4.25.) Europane, 950 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 577-1828.

2087 An American Bistro: Chef Alex Molina has invented a special dessert for cherry season: two rounds of puff pastry covered with cherry mascarpone mousse glistening with cherry syrup with a hint of almond formed into a sort of napoleon. Surrounding them are freeze-dried cherries, which literally melt in your mouth. (Brooks cherry napoleon with mascarpone mousse, $6.50.) 2087 An American Bistro, 2087 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, (805) 374-2087.

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