ice cream

Scoops Westside – Farewell to Summer

by Franklin on September 23, 2014

Summer is finally departing and we welcome fall. This doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy ice cream anymore, right? #icecreamtuesdays may be gone for now, but Los Angeles residents will still flock to ice cream shops. I mean, it is Los Angeles after all. We are going to be eating ice cream whether it is summer of winter. Scoops in Los Angeles near Melrose is always a favorite of mine. The simple decor, cheap prices and amazing ice cream keeps bringing me back for more. Scoops is spreading the love on the westside.


I always get the brown bread. It has little pieces of waffle cone and it has the perfect ice cream texture and flavor. I also had the maple burnt sugar which was soy based. I never thought of making or eating soy based ice cream, but I guess it is good for the lactose intolerant. The burnt sugar was subtle and sweet. These were perfect for the hot summer weather.

With the start of fall, the hot summers at the beach will be missed. The outdoor BBQs, golfing in the hot sun, and of course, #icecreamtuesdays will be missed. Soon though, as the seasons pass, summer will be with us once again.

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Some say that Sweet Rose Creamery has the best ice cream in LA. That may or may not be true, but they definitely have a stronghold in the ice cream game. Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan are husband and wife co-owners of Sweet Rose. They also co-own Rustic Canyon, Milo and Olive, and Huckleberry. That is quite a resume and are some of the best restaurants in Santa Monica. It is no wonder that Sweet Rose Creamery is so popular.

Their ingredients are always fresh and sourced locally. Their organic milk and cream is from Clover Organic Farms, and their eggs from Chino Valley Ranchers. They even get all of their other ingredients from The Santa Monica Farmers Market. All of their ice cream and most of their toppings are made from scratch, in house.

I ordered the usual, of salted caramel. They always ask if I want to top it off with salt as if that is even a question. The saltiness was definitely present, and the caramel flavor was in your face. The burnt sugar flavor was almost smokey and dark — it was reminiscent of a dark roast coffee. Hmm, maybe roasted coffee is one of their ingredients?

Sweet Rose Creamery is a definite favorite of Angelinos. Catch them in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and their original location near Brentwood. They offer an array of house made ice cream flavors and a number of toppings. They even have sundaes, beverages, frozen novelties, and even ice cream pies. I always come here for the ice cream, but will need to try their other treats next time.

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Snow Flower Ice – Shaved Snow “Crumble”

by Franklin on September 16, 2014

The green tea snow itself was smooth and delicious, though you can find much better, creamier shaved snow in SGV. I’d even say Fluff Ice is a little better, and Class 302 just being untouchable. The addition of green tea mochi and mango popping balls made this even more flavorful. The mochi was soft and the mango popping balls were bursts of flavor. This was indeed a nice way to beat the heat.

Snow Flower Ice was a nice stop to beat the heat, but I’d say there are much better places to get shaved snow. Shaved snow has to be “dry” but then still remain creamy when you eat it. Snow Flower Ice interestingly was a bit dry and crumbly. I miss ice cream.

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The first time I tried Frostbites, it was an explosion of flavor. The combination was so subtlety perfect and the balance of fruit and cream was sublime. Sorbet chill and Italian ice is what Frostbites is all about. I would have liked to try their crepes, but their “frozen delights” was what I came for. In the bitter sweet end of the hot summer, these are perfect for the sticky air and warm nights.

The Pineapple passion fruit and cream was the perfect combo. The pineapple was tart and contrasted nicely with the creamy custard. On the other hand, the peanut butter chocolate was more of a sweet indulgence. Both were great in their own way, but the classic flavors of cream and fruit was too good. I liked Frostbites, and was a great dessert for a hot night. It kept me cool and refreshed with a nice mix of cream and fruitiness. Summer needs more of this!

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Nice Cream is actually a gelato and sorbet shop, not ice cream. I don’t know about you, but everything from ice cream, gelato, sorbet, soft serve, and froyo is ice cream to me. Yes, I like to generalize like that. Nice Cream opened its doors in 2008, and are dedicated to freshness and having all organic ingredients. They were so popular, the even opened up a small shop on the Venice boardwalk. The owners came from Denmark to LA with a purpose of opening up a gelato shop. I’d say so far that their dreams are being fulfilled.

The biscotti and salted popcorn were a great match together. The biscotti ice cream was sweet and delicious. The bits of biscotti was nice and texturally pleasing. My favorite was the salted popcorn. It wasn’t too sweet, but the little bits of salt and butter and popcorn are there. It isn’t overpowering as I thought it would be, but perfectly subtle. Half way down my cup, I forgot what I ordered (brain fart). Then, the popcorn hit me and I immediately remembered again.

Nice Cream is a nice spot for ice cream if you are on Abbot Kinney or near Venice. I particularly liked the flavors, but I did have one gripe about something. It seemed like the ice cream was too soft and too melted. Maybe it didn’t have enough time to set and harden, but the ice cream had more of a milkshake consistency. Still, Nice Cream manages to wow customers with their funky flavors and delicious ice cream gelato. Hopefully, they’ll turn up the temperature a tad next time.

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Mikawaya Mochi Ice Cream – 2 Buck Chuck

by Franklin on August 26, 2014

Something about mochi ice cream is so satisfying. That soft dough-like mochi on the outside, and the cold flavorful ice cream on the inside just hits the spot. Its cold, chewy, and delicious. The best part is, you don’t need a spoon — you eat it with your hands and there is no mess.

Little Tokyo’s Mikawaya has them for a dollar each. At those prices, you can scarf them down like popcorn. I got the mango and green tea mochi ice cream. I literally sat there, looked at my two treats, and carefully determined which one to eat first. Mango then green tea, or green tea, then mango… Hmm. Like I don’t have any other more important life decisions to make. In the end, I ate the mango first, then green tea second. That just seemed like the logical order to eat it. Either way, I was happy.

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Playa Provisions definitely has an identity crisis. The restaurant is separated into 4 different sections — Dockside, Grain, Small Batch, and King Beach. Dockside is a high end dining space for seafood. Grain is a back room whiskey bar. Small Bach is their ice cream shop. King Beach is their casual breakfast and lunch spot. Honestly, the concept is interesting and confusing. Top Chef runner-up Brooke Williams and husband run the show. The woodsy, artsy, and earthy tones of the decor was very attractive. Honestly though, I came here just for the ice cream.

The ice cream was a treat. The chocolate malted crunch was full of bits and was quite nice. I usually don’t like chocolate malted crunch, and I don’t quite know why I ordered this flavor. The bits of malted balls were nice and the chocolate was rich and flavorful. My favorite was the milk and coffee ice cream. It had a nice subtle coffee flavor and was so clean tasting. This mixed in with the chocolate malted crunch was a perfect match. All of this with their addicting house made waffle cone, and I was a happy little kid with an ice cream cone.

In second thought, the concept here at Playa Provisions is kind of interesting. I wish they did a better job in integrating everything together. The new restaurant in Playa del Rey is turning heads though. I originally thought it was a casual sandwich shop that also had delicious ice cream. I was in shock when I walked in and there were all these different compartments. Back-room whiskey bar? Who would have thought? I will definitely be back for that. Maybe even a sandwich and seafood fare is in order also. For #icecreamtuesdays though this will definitely do.

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Creamistry – Ice Cream in No Time

by Franklin on August 12, 2014

Have I found my favorite ice cream spot? Does it really have to be all the way in Irvine? And does it have to be nitrogen blasted? Pretty much, yes. Creamistry, as the name suggests uses cream and chemistry to make ice cream. They mix premium cream and flavors and blast freeze it with liquid nitrogen. It’s like how an impatient person would make ice cream, but the taste and texture is so unique and delicious.

The first time I had Creamistry, I had the cookie butter and Cap’n Crunch. You don’t want the Cap’n Crunch on top — you want it crushed up and mixed into the ice cream. The cookie butter was so rich and cinnamony. The best part about nitrogen blasted ice cream is that it is fresh. Ice cream in the freezer could have been made weeks or even months before. Ice cream shops could have made it days or hours before you are eating it. Nitrogen blasting ensures that the ice cream you are eating now wasn’t ice cream yet like just a minute ago. It kind of boggles the mind.

My all time favor flavor here is just the premium ice cream with crushed up Cap’n Crunch. The base milk flavor is such a nice smooth blank slate. The Cap’n Crunch is such a classic flavor. The sweet, corn and caramel flavors come through in a different way. It’s like eating the cereal with milk, but to a totally different level. Don’t look for any other flavors. I’ll be sticking to this basic recipe from now on. I’m even going to ditch the cookie butter. Shocking, I know.

Some may be a bit wary about eating something that has been heavily doused with liquid nitrogen. Who knows what it’s doing to my insides? I mean, if you drink even a little bit of liquid nitrogen, you can die (I’m pretty sure). Who is to say that just mixing it with some ingredients is ok for consumption? Who cares for now. It’s delicious and it makes ice cream like magic. Just don’t forget the Cap’n Crunch.

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Walking around the Beverly Grove area after an early dinner, we were in the mood for some ice cream. We could have easily went to Sweet Rose Creamery and be happy. We decided to go to Carmela Ice Cream. It really came down to, try something I haven’t had yet, or something I know is a for sure thing. Being a food blogger, I have to try something new all the time. Carmela started selling their treats at local farmers markets from 2007.

Upon entering Carmela, it was full of light and the white decor was bright and pretty. It definitely isn’t a manly man’s kind of spot. The decor and design of the whole place was dainty and feminine.

All of their ice creams are made with Clover Organic Dairy ingredients and the flavors are inspired by herbs, spices, flowers, and seasonal fruit. After trying some of their different flavors, I chose their salted caramel and rose petal. I was a bit worried about the flavor combination, but chose those two to eat separately. The salted caramel was smooth and had a nice burnt sugar flavor. The saltiness was a bit lacking, but not missed. The rose petal was more of the interesting flavor. It had a very soapy, floral taste. It tasted like soap ice cream. I really liked the flavor a lot. In a way, if a girly girl was made into an ice cream flavor, it would be the rose petal — floral, soapy, and clean. Similarly, if a guys guy was made into an ice cream flavor, it would be the salted caramel — a bit burnt and dirty tasting, and salty.

Carmela Ice Cream was a nice spot to share ice cream with friends. The flavors were in your face and delicate at the same time. The decor, though a bit girly was pleasing. I can’t wait to try this spot again and try their other flavors. Catch them if you are in the Beverly Grove area, Pasadena, or your local farmers market.

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Popbar inside the Anaheim Packing District is a popular spot to visit. They offer gelato on a stick, and they dress it up with toppings and drizzles to your liking. It really isn’t anything special, but the fact that you can dress up your own “naked” ice cream pop makes it fun and specific to you. You can dip in chocolate half way, all the way, stick some nuts on there or other flavors. It’s all up to you, and it is all delicious. After getting your grub on inside the Anaheim Packing District, Popbar is a popular destination to get your dessert.

Hers was a pistachio pop with half dark chocolate and white chocolate drizzle. The dark chocolate had pistachio and the white chocolate had waffle cone crumbles. Mine was a chocolate bar with half dark chocolate with pistachios. The pistachio bits is a must. It’s rare to have pistachios at an ice cream joint, and I think more places need to offer it. The pistachio and ice cream/gelato was delicious. The chocolate mixed in with the gelato was good as well. The best was the waffle crumbles. It was like having a waffle come, but not.

Popbar is a delicious ice cream alternative to your average ice cream in a cup or cone. Their flavors are great together and it is fun to eat gelato on a stick. It does get a bit pricey though, and for the amount of actual ice cream you are getting, there are better places that offer more for your buck. This is the Packing District though. You come here for the fun hippie skippy atmosphere and good food — the high prices come with that. It’s fun to try it once, but it’s definitely not OMG “take all my money” good, but for sure, the best ice cream spot you can eat with one hand.

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Honeymee – Keepin’ it Real

by Franklin on July 22, 2014

The pictures of Honeymee looked so good. The pure white soft serve topped with a block of yellow honeycomb was so (for a lack of better words) pretty. The intrigue of this “pure” ice cream and honeycomb was what got me here. Situated in the old Brown Derby Plaza, this would probably be a perfect treat after Boiling Crab. Me? I’m he re for #IceCreamTuesdays.

The “pure milk” soft serve ice cream was quite pristine. This isn’t your everyday sifts serve. The milk flavor really shined through and made for a perfect blank slate. The subtle yet strong flavors of the honeycomb was pleasing. Adding these two ingredients at their purest is truly a beautiful thing. No additives or colors here. Everything is at its purest form.

Can this be the healthiest ice cream? It’s possible. Honey has some good health benefits to it. All that with a “cup” of wholesome milk? Sounds pretty healthy to me. This “going back to the basics” mentality was refreshing. So many gelato and ice cream shops are making some funky flavor combinations and just concentrating on a mix of ingredients. Honeymee just keeps it simple.

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I am not a fan of Gelato. It’s at times too melted and not stiff enough. It melts too quick, and it is too soft. And of course, it has less butterfat than regular ice cream. Gelato has more milk than cream, so it has less fat. Good thing it’s hot though. The samples I was given didn’t last long, and the gelato I ordered didn’t stand a chance. The faster it melted, the faster I ate it.

I know salted caramel and almond fig is a weird combination, but I wanted to try both. Bring a fan of the very dense and hard ice cream, the soft, very “watery” gelato was a bit off putting. Still though, the lack of butter fat really allowed the flavors to come through nicely. The salted caramel was sweet but nothing in your face. The almond fig had a nice mellow flavor and fruity fig accents. The combination wasn’t that bad. I had my fill with all of the samples I had.

Pazzo Gelato in Silverlake had some interesting flavors. I guess gelato isn’t that bad, right? The flavors are nice, and in this summer heat, anything cold in iced ream form is welcome. For gelato lovers, Pazzo will tickle your fancy.

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Coolhaus – You had me at Ice Cream

by Franklin on July 8, 2014

Coolhaus has been in the ice cream game for some time, relatively speaking. Started in 2008, people in real estate and design started the business by baking cooking and stuffing them with ice cream. The two bought a beat up postal van, created their signature tilted roof truck, and debut their treats at the 2009 Coachella music festival. Now, they have a store front, and multiple trucks in Los Angeles, New York, and Texas. They are even selling their hand dipped ice cream bars nationwide. It is clear that Coolhaus has gained massive popularity and fan base.

Having tried their sammies back before their store front, I decided to go with a traditional ice cream cup. After sampling a few, I went with the salted caramel. Other alter caramels really just taste like salty caramel or just lack that perfect balance. The savory and sweet balance from this ice cream was so perfect. The caramel wasn’t too sweet or strong, which I liked. The salt came through so gently, yet pronounced. It didn’t overpower the caramel, nor did it hide behind all the flavors. It stood well on its own. I literally finished my cup quite quickly and hesitated to go back for another. I thought to myself, “dang, this is pretty good”. Don’t think that Coolhaus is all about their ice cream cookie sandwiches. Their ice cream alone can hold their own.

I take my ice cream seriously, especially in the summer. This would definitely make the top 10 on my best ice cream in Los Angeles list.

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We went to Gelato Bar after hanging out in the Thousand Oaks of all places. On the way back to LA, we stopped by Gelato Bar in Studio City for some ice cream (I meant gelato). The gelato shop was quaint and very old fashioned looking. The small shop was a little difficult to find. As they were close to closing, the workers there were quite rude and we just knew they wanted to close shop. The crazy thing was, after we went in, there was a flood of people wanting to get their gelato right til’ the last minute.

Their gelato was quite tasty, but not the best. I had a taste of a cream and blood orange mixture that was good. I love the combination of something fruity or tart with a side of a cream base. The “peaches and cream” effect, as I like to call it is very pleasant. I had the dulce de leche and dolce amaro. The sweet caramel flavors with the creamy base notes really rounded everything nicely. Also, the pirouette toppers was a nice touch. If you are in the area, Gelato Bar is a nice stop for good gelato. I’ve had a lot of gelato in my life of blogging, and this unfortunately is just not special enough.

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Afters Ice Cream – And the Milky Bun Happened

June 24, 2014

Oh the milky bun. Being one of the food trends of 2014, the milky bun is a hit that started in Orange County. AFTERS Ice Cream shop in Fountain Valley started it all. Started by two trend setting clothing designers, the milky bun is a simple recipe. A somewhat warm donut stuffed with cold ice [...]

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Coffee Code – The Sweet Life

June 16, 2014

Coffee Code, to me, was a stumble. Wanting some dessert after dinner, this seemed like the perfect spot. The fun atmosphere and unique atmosphere is what made this place attractive. We had the white chocolate latte and cafe con leche. Both were velvety smooth and sweet. It was a perfect sweet dessert style coffee for [...]

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Syrup (Downtown) – Waffles and Ice Cream

January 18, 2014

Downtown is such a dirty place. You have the coexistence of the rich and poor, and everyone in between. Cars wiz by, polluting the air. The buildings are old, dingy, and most of them block out the sun. With urban development slowly making things better, downtown is certainly looking up. Eats in downtown are starting [...]

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Manhattan Beach Creamery – An Ice Cream Sandwich for a Young Boy

January 13, 2013

I know its Winter, and it’s cold. Typically, you don’t eat cold things in the Winter. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy something sweet. It’s Los Angeles we are talking here — its okay. Entering Manhattan Beach Creamery, I was a kid in a candy store. There was candy on display with every sweet thing [...]

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Waffles de Liege – A Match Made In Heaven

June 5, 2012

Food trucks are an amazing thing. You can get practically any kind of food you desire off of a food truck. Waffles De Liege, for example serves up some awesome waffles. Their waffles are not the breakfast kind, though anyone would be happy to have these for breakfast. According to their website, there are two [...]

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Gelato Paradiso – The Beach and a Frozen Treat, and I’m all Smiles

May 7, 2012

It’s official. The Italians got it right again and gelato is the perfect “ice cream”. It always seems like the beach and the ocean always makes me want some ice cream. The sunshine and the ocean breeze all can be enjoyed a little better with a nice velvety, creamy treat. If you couldn’t tell by [...]

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