Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan (Rustic Canyon, Huckleberry) plan to open a still-unnamed ice cream parlor at the southwest corner of Brentwood Country Mart by January 2010, in a former salon.
Why Brentwood Country Mart? “I grew up in Santa Monica,” says Loeb, “so I grew up going here. I probably went to Reddi Chick 6000 times between the ages of 6 and 18.“
Most ice cream parlors make ice cream from a base, but the couple opted to make their small-batch ice cream completely from scratch, which requires a separate clean room and commercial pasteurizer. “Even Straus base has predetermined sugar and egg content,” says Loeb. Their hand made version will be more variable.
Loeb and Nathan will own the ice cream parlor and supervise, but Nathan is occupied with Huckleberry, so they recruited Shiho Yoshikawa to make the ice cream. Yoshikawa worked with Nathan at San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery and most recently worked for the Slanted Door and as a consulting mixologist for a Bay Area frozen yogurt concept.
Yoshikawa will make 12 flavors of ice cream and sorbet per day, driven by seasonality. In the summer, Loeb predicts more fresh fruit, with more year-round ingredients in the winter. “We’re not making crazy experimental flavors,” says Loeb. “We want to do stuff you want to eat on a regular basis.” They’ll serve ice cream, sorbet, ice cream sandwiches, ice cream cakes, milkshakes and root beer floats, “anything you can think of that’s ice cream related.”
Loeb and Nathan have reassembled the same team that worked on Huckleberry to transform the space: Montalba Architects and Sarlan Builders. “The Mart has its own design which is country barn-ish,” says Loeb, who described the design as “retro modern.” You’ll find a glassed-off clean room where you can see the ice cream being made, counter seating that wraps along the windowed perimeter and an outdoor patio that faces 26th Street.