Sometimes it's necessary to skip dessert and go for an after-dinner drink, preferably in a neighborhood where you won't be looking over your shoulder. Located in sleepy Brentwood, Bar Toscana offers — along with its charming Italian staff — an imaginative cocktail list helmed by beverage director Francesco Lafranconi. All of the drinks are worth mooning over, but it's the ethereal dessert drink the Monte Bianco that regulars return to. When the espresso-dusted sgroppino is served, take your time with it. Savor the delicate lemon flavor of the sorbet blended with Prosecco, elderflower liqueur and citrus vodka. Pause to admire the silvery-blond hair of the attractive older couple to your right. And when you finish the creamy concoction, don't be surprised if you find yourself talking with your hands like the Italian barmen in front of you. 11633 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood. (310) 826-0028,

—Sophia Kercher

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