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Restaurants | IN THE MOOD


October 26, 2000|JESSICA STRAND

Pumpkins are not just for making pies and jack-o'-lanterns anymore.

* Europane: Pastry chef Sumi Chang's spiced pumpkin bar is pumpkin pie filling on a shortbread crust; her sweet pumpkin bread contains cranberries, walnuts and crystallized ginger or orange zest; her pumpkin quiche, on light, buttery puff pastry, is goat cheese, caramelized onions and pumpkin. (Pumpkin bars, $2; pumpkin bread, $6; pumpkin quiche, slice $4.25/whole $38.) Europane, 950 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 577-1828.

* Alegria: If you're lucky, chef-owner Nadine Trujillo will have made a full-bodied pumpkin soup flavored with ginger, nutmeg, clove and cumin. You can get it topped with creme frai^che or chopped cilantro. It comes with rice or fresh tortillas. (Pumpkin soup, medium bowl $5.45/large bowl $7.45.) Alegria, 3510 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 913-1422.

* Fosselman's: Every autumn this old-fashioned ice cream parlor makes luxurious pumpkin-pie-flavored ice cream. (Pumpkin pie ice cream, scoop $1.45/half-gallon $5.25.) Fosselman's, 1824 W. Main St., Alhambra, (626) 282-6533.

* Saddle Peak Lodge: When it's available, try the grilled quail special, which comes with pumpkin risotto (arborio rice and roasted pumpkin, flavored at the end with butter and Parmesan and garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds). (Grilled quail with pumpkin risotto, $27.) Saddle Peak Lodge, 419 Cold Canyon Road, Calabasas, (818) 222-3888.

* Citrus City Grill: During Halloween week, this place will serve a roast duckling (leg at lunch, breast at dinner) with a pumpkin sauce. Also ravioli filled with pureed onions, leeks, carrots and pumpkin and tossed with a corn sauce. For dessert, of course, there'll be traditional pumpkin pie. (Duckling with pumpkin sauce, $13 lunch/$19 dinner; pumpkin ravioli, lunch $9/dinner $13.) Citrus City Grill, 122 N. Glassell St., Orange, (714) 639-9600.

* Alto Palato: The slightly sweet pumpkin ravioli, with a pinch of crumbled amaretto cookie, are served in sage-Parmesan butter. Occasionally the kitchen makes a special bright orange, light pumpkin gnocchi in veal stock, butter, sage and Parmesan cheese. (Pumpkin ravioli, $13.95; pumpkin gnocchi, $12.95.) Alto Palato, 755 N. La Cienega Blvd., W. Hollywood, (310) 657-9271.

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