Though it's tucked away at the top of the Palomar Hotel, Fifth Floor is not doing "hotel food." Case in point, the new fall dessert menu from pastry chef Francis Ang, where there is nary a dessert cart or sheet cake in site.
On the contrary, Ang, formerly of Gary Danko, is serving incredibly detailed, modern desserts. The dishes are definitely rooted in California cuisine. Ang gets inspired by—and changes his menu around—seasonal, local produce. Example: on the new menu, cubes of spiced carrot cake are paired with grape chutney, a deliciously unexpected combination that came after Ang "keep seeing these amazing grapes" at the Ferry Building. Thanks to a trip to Dirty Girl Farms, the fromage blanc tart is topped with tomato jam ice cream. And that intensely anise-flavored frond garnishing the Cantaloupe Semifreddo? That's a special bronze fennel, picked fresh from the restaurant's rooftop garden.
But whether it's spices inspired by Ang's childhood in the Philippines or a hint of molecular gastronomy (this menu might be worth checking out for the carbonated cantaloupe balls alone), the menu seems to defy easy categorization. Check out the slideshow to see all the new desserts happening on the Fifth Floor.