We Scream For L.A. Ice Cream!
Best Ice Cream in Los Angeles
In a city with more sunny days than otherwise (well, with the exception of the last couple of years it seems), ice cream is not relegated as a seasonal affair as it is for the unfortunate souls in the northern to mid-west/eastern states. Whether you are enjoying a shopping expedition along one of L.A.'s boutique retail zones or strolling the promenade of your favorite beach, nothing "picks you up" and serves your inner-child better than having an ice cream barista scoop your favorite flavors into a specialty cone or bowl and stepping outside of the parlor with a big smiling sorbet styled mustache on your face. Check out these L.A. hot spots for the best cold and creamy concoctions around.
Cold Stone Creamery
Multiple locations - Mapped: 3730 South Figueroa St., Los Angeles
1988 introduced Prozac and Laser Eye Surgery to America, but more importantly, Cold Stone Creamery opened its doors for the first time, which revolutionized ice cream and in turn, revolutionized the world as we know it. Call that a dramatic statement if you will, but the world would be a better place if our politicians negotiated treaties while enjoying this frozen treat.
This now popular franchise allowed the public the freedom to create their own cones or bowls by instructing the artisans behind the counter with blow by blow details of which flavors to combine with an endless selection of fruits, nuts, candy and other tasty additions. If the taste doesn't turn out to satisfaction, well, its your fault for getting too experimental and you should opt for one of the Cold Stone Signature Creations that best suits your appetite next time.
With over a dozen locations in the L.A. area, Cold Stone Creamery is the undisputed leader in ice cream not only for Los Angeles, but for North America, period.
YAH Says: Combine coconut flavored ice cream with birthday cake, macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips and served in a caramel dipped waffle bowl!
712 North Heliotrope Drive, Los Angeles
We've seen a lot of gimmicky ice cream parlors in our travels that claim to be among the best based on the unique variety of flavors that stray far beyond the norm, only to fall flat once the novelty wears off with the public and they realize that some flavors dont belong anywhere near an ice cream cone. So our concern when hearing about Scoops was one of past scorn. Their ever changing menu and ridiculous (on paper) ingredient combinations border on ludicrous (Chocolate Bacon?!), until you try it.
Scoops has accomplished what many have failed to do before. Their ability to combine flavors reserved for the breakfast, lunch and dinner table into desserts is second to none, while still offering superior takes on traditional ice cream "mixes" such as the standard cookies n cream, but always with a twist. Instead of "Peanut Butter & Chocolate" you'll get PB & Molasses, instead of "Cheesecake" you'll get Guinness (the beer) Cheesecake. You get the idea.
Don't get too attached to any one variety, as we stated the menu rotates often. However, their one staple fixture is the Brown Bread Ice Cream with actual Grape Nuts in the mix. Genius. "One Scoop" equals two at Scoops, as if the owner recognizes that its impossible to choose only one flavor and the price cant be beat either.
YAH Says: Although "Brown Bread" is an essential first time try, on your second visit, order the Salted Caramel. Its almost always available too.
Ice Pan Inc.
7100 Santa Monica Blvd, #135 W. Hollywood, Los Angeles
Ice Pan Inc. took a page from Cold Stone Creamery in that they prepare your ice cream in front of you and under your direction, however they added one very important chapter or prologue to the story. Ice Pan is the inception of ice cream. They create your all natural frozen treat 100% from scratch, before it's even ice cream, in a manner that could only be explained by either science or magic.
You order your concoction after much deliberation and right before your eyes they throw the blended milk and base ingredients into a large metal pan (a magic pan!) and it miraculously freezes in a matter of seconds. Your server scrapes the frozen cream and somehow it begins to crystallize into shards which are then collected, mashed, blended, chopped and flipped by the individual that makes you think a pizza chef took a career change as an ice cream maker and landed themselves here at Ice Pan. Every element in the process is broken down to its bare. We wouldn't be surprised if there was "organic" cow kept in the back from which they derived the milk.
As with most foods that are prepared with such care and diligence, the final result is well worth the entertaining, educational and eventful wait. Ice Pan served one of the creamiest and tastiest ice creams we've ever laid our beaks upon.
Fosselman's Ice Cream Co.
1824 W. Main Street, Alhambra, Los Angeles, CA
There is something about long standing family owned and operated dining establishments that cannot be duplicated, especially in regards to taste. Fosselman's has been in business since 1919 and any ice cream parlor that has survived The Great Depression gets the benefit of the doubt any day. The classical décor complete with old fashioned soda “pull” fountains and a friendly demeanor behind the counter conveys the spirit that ice cream was born from. Fosselmen's is where you go for the timeless banana split or a fudge brownie sundae. Put down the menu from that contemporary hot spot from time to time and come see what real old fashioned ice cream tastes like.
Mashti Malone's Ice Cream
1525 North La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles
Mashti Malone's Ice Cream has been one of the most consistently well reviewed parlors over the years. However they don't pop up in word of mouth conversation as much as they used to, which is often the strange side effect of consistency. Nonetheless, little has changed about Mashti's, nor should it, as they continue to produce some of the most elegantly creamy ice cream in the area.
The menu reads like the price list at a floral shop with its primary flavor ingredient being rose water, so expect to see names like Rosewater Saffron Pistachio, Herbal Snow or Orange Blossum standing out proudly on the menu board. They also used pomegranate long before it started popping up in every grocery stores beverage section as of recent time. Arabian Gum, rice starch and dried root of orchid are used as thickening agents in place of the digestive blocking alternatives so commonly used in the confections industry. It all might sound kind of strange but the bottom line is that Mashti Malone's has maintained it's undisputed reputation for one very good reason, they make darn good ice cream.