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.
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.
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.
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.
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.