Long before chef Jordan Kahn opened his own restaurant, Red Medicine, in Beverly Hills, he was a pastry cook, coming up through the now-legendary pastry kitchens of the French Laundry and Per Se and Alinea. Thus it's hardly surprising that, even though he now runs the whole show, both pastry and savory, at the Vietnamese-influenced Red Medicine, making glorious plates of things like raw Japanese scallops, powdered yogurt and elderflowers, it is the desserts that continue to astonish. To be clear, these are not casual desserts but plated masterpieces: Imagine Antonin Carême's architectural sugar studies crossed with a Swedish botanical garden. There is technical mastery but also a playfulness, even irony, in Kahn's dishes, as if you picked up The Dangerous Book for Boys and found inside not card games and tree houses but diagrams for mousse and tuilles, Bavarian crème and chocolate lace. 8400 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (323) 651-5500, redmedicinela.com. —Amy Scattergood

LA Weekly