Since its inception thousands of years ago, there has always been a time when ice cream was universally adored, but in recent years the sweet treat has experienced something of a renaissance. No longer are ice cream shops and restaurants happy to serve standard flavors in traditional ways. These days, ice cream innovators are seeking new interpretations, ideas and presentation styles that will tickle taste buds and imaginations. Learn about 10 Los Angeles spots that are serving up special creations.
Numbered establishments on the map correspond to information below for easy reference. Establishments also appear in alphabetical order instead of in order of preference.
1. B Sweet Dessert Bar: Halo
You may have seen the Halo in your dreams, but now it’s a reality. The masterminds at B Sweet serve up what’s essentially an ice cream stuffed doughnut. They slice a hole-less glazed doughnut down the middle before adding your chosen ice cream flavor, which could be mint chip, ube or vanilla. They seal the Halo with a special panini press. The result is a unique treat that’s warm and crispy on the outside and cold and creamy on the inside.
2. Bulgarini Gelato: Torta di Gelato
Besides unique flavor combinations, gelaterias don’t usually offer unusual presentations. Rome native Leo Bulgarini stands apart from the crowd by offering the torta di gelato, a triangular block of gelato that brings two of their delicious flavors together in one special treat: egg nog & vanilla; pear & chocolate salt; or pistachio & pomegranate. Though the translation is “ice cream cake,” there is no cake to get between you and the gelato.
Photo courtesy of CREAM, Inc.
3. CREAM: Ice Cream Taco
The name of this San Francisco import is actually an acronym that stands for Cookies Rule Everything Around Me, so it was a surprise to see these guys churning out decadent ice cream tacos. These aren’t pre-packaged one-size-fits-all treats. You get to choose either a red velvet or regular shell, three different scoops of ice cream and toppings. If you want to team scoops of Chocoholic, Royal Caramel Swirl and Salted Caramel with sprinkles, whipped cream and Gummy Bears, that’s not a problem.
4. The Ice Bar: Innovative Ice Pops
There are popsicles and then there are The Ice Bar’s outrageous frozen desserts on a stick. Start by choosing what flavor pop you want. Don’t expect the usual popsicle flavors that are simply referred to by their color – instead they boast flavors like Korean Pear Blueberry and Vietnamese Coffee. You can leave it at that or go on to step 2 and pile on some toppings, the likes of which include vanilla bean gel, Pop Rocks candy and toasted hazelnut.
Photo courtesy of MILK
5. MILK: Homemade Drumsticks
The drumstick is, of course, nothing new. But here, at Lucy Danovic’s dessert shops in Mid-City and Silver Lake, they decided to ditch the shortcuts and make their own from scratch. At MILK, which has been hailed as a delicious throwback to the time of the old-fashioned sweet shop, your drumstick flavor choices are original, butterscotch and peanut butter. Peanut butter is especially indulgent, with a chocolate-coated cone filled with peanut butter ice cream, dipped in dark chocolate and covered in crushed Reese’s peanut butter cups.