Just a quick mention to hopefully get Long Beach Creamery on more people’s radar.
This place is doing some excellent work. The bases are definitely heavy on the butterfat, but I didn’t have any issues with excess fat coating my mouth like I’ve occasionally had with other luxury ice cream shops.
Flavor-wise, I was really impressed. They’re doing a lot of little things to add complexity to ingredients that actually allow the flavors to complement each other.
Example: they do a beet ice cream. So they roast the beets first. In root beer. Brilliant detail that keeps the beet flavor from being too earthy. The root beer flavor is just in the background bringing it all together. The also use white chocolate flakes which again works to bring those root beer notes into harmony with the beets.
They do a fennel cashew chip that kind of needs to be required dessert after a slice of porchetta.
Also enjoyed their use of tea to amplify certain chocolate notes as opposed to the coffee most ice cream makers go with. Not better, but different in a subtle, surprising way.
I ended up trying this place on a trip to Steelcraft. Followed the ice cream up with a stop at Corked nearby, which is a surprisingly solid bottle shop. Didn’t explore the wine deeply, but the whiskey selection was quite good and they have a very respectable beer selection.
Not exactly a bang X 3 but there are worse ways to spend an hour or two.
Long Beach Creamery is a fantastic scoop shop. Unfortunately last week they were only doing pints to go. The few times we’ve been prior we loved their home made cones and interesting flavors. I think the key to good ice cream is whether or not you need a glass of water 3 minutes after finishing the ice cream. Well balanced and not cloyingly sweet. LB Creamery checks off all the boxes.
We ordered a pint of cookies and cream that they had just finished packing. It was delightful. Big chunks of cookies that still had some crunch. Excellent creamy vanilla ice cream. We ate out of the pint like animals in the park next door. No shame. Brought the rest home and it is still great.
Not cheap at $12 a pint but well worth it.
IMO this is some of the best ice cream I had in LA. Now I haven’t had Antico though. Does Bulgarini count?
2. LB Creamery
5. Salt N Straw
Excellent list. I’d add Sweet Rose too but no arguments from me.
I really missed the boat on Kansha. The last 2 times I tried they were closed for some odd reason and the when I was at Monkish ~2 weeks ago they were only doing pints to go. I didn’t have any ice with me and didn’t want to be an animal. Those flavor combos really speak to me. On my list.
They will close early if everything is sold out.
Any of the Japanese inspired flavors is incredible.
What do you usually bang it up when picking up at Monkish?
Depends on how much time I have but my first choice is always Patisserie Chantilly.
If its around lunch time usually Sanuki No Sato, Watadsumi and Tempura Tendon Carlos Jr.
I feel bad for leaving the kids so I opt for things I can bring back. I’ll often stop for chestnuts at Hisaya or mocha at Chikara or Sakuraya.
Any suggestions nearby?
Have you had Ginger’s? My personal ranking would have them above Kansha and Wanderlust
They do have very inconsistent hours and part of it is they only make small batches, once it’s gone for the day, they shut down.
Uhh, what he said
Nope I haven’t had Ginger’s but they are now on my to do list if I am ever in the area (close by is Menotti’s and Boy and Bear for some coffee!)
It’s all one big stretch, might as well give Chocovivo a try if you time it right. They’ve cut down hours severely since lock down. Doesn’t help that someone broke in a couple of weeks ago. She’s had some tough set backs.
Ginger’s looks lovely. Are they relatively new? I’m not necessarily in that part of town much but definitely on my radar.
They’ve been around for about 2 years? I like LB Creamery a lot but I’d give the edge to Ginger’s for a wider variety of good flavors and the QPR is out the roof. The prices are about the same for both places but Ginger’s gives much larger portions. A double scoop is huge. Not that the bigger portions and close proximity is great for my waistline.
Out of their standard flavors, the Bourbon brown sugar is a favorite. I’ve also been very happy with any of their seasonal fruit flavors.
I’m just a big fan overall, lovely flavors, interesting combinations without some of the weirdness I see from Salt & Straw and just good people overall. They seem to be doing ok with virus restrictions and have a good set up for the line. Downside is no tastes last I checked. Which is a bummer since they always seem to have interesting ones rotating through their seasonal menu.
In addition to Wadatsumi, Chantilly, and Carlos:
-Otafuku…seiro soba, ume and vegetables zaru soba, tamagoyaki
-Nagomi Cake House. Chestnut Mont Blanc.
-Torimatsu…chicken yakitori specialist! I like chicken meatballs, heart, liver, the chicken porridge.
-Fukuno…pre pandemic really good traditional washoku. They are doing bentos and pressed sushi to go now.
-Sakae…old school to go place that has been staple for a lot of Japanese families potlucks/parties. It’s cooked homestyle sushi. Believe it or not the California roll is damn good with real shrimp and avocado no Krab no mayo. Pieces come nicely wrapped.
-Kagura…best katsu around
-TNT Aloha…Aloha Royal Fried Rice.
-Jus Poke…real poke with real Hawaiian seaweed
-2 Guns Espresso
-Fatto A Mano…the concept is like Pasta Sisters
-Painters Tape…probably one of the best breakfast/brunch places around
-Fishing With Dynamite…pristine fresh seafood and that Key Lime Pie!
Just off the top of my head
I am definitely missing some places!
I personally dislike salt and straw and prefer jenis splendid for a gourmet ice cream chain
I’ve never quite bought into the hype. I don’t dislike them but they don’t excite me and it’s not worth fighting the lines for me.
Honestly I rather have a Thrifty Malted Krunch than Salt N Straw lol
But I guess I grew to like them because every time I go to Disneyland I would get it. (Annual Passholder here!)
Ahh, the cylindrical plug scoop with the gun handle. The unique experience of stacking the scoops. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Thrifty, now Rite-Aide, since one of my first jobs was the ice cream guy at the counter. Although some nightmares too, on hot days seeing that endless line of customers and my hand cramping up from the non-stop squeeze and release of that pistol grip scoop.
Yeah I guess dislike is a strong word. I’ll still eat it but definitely not one of my favs. Too sweet and most of the time the flavors don’t work for me.
Awww that’s awesome first job!
I always thought those scoopers are pretty bad ass. I hope you still have one! It’s funny my sister and other friends who used to scoop ice cream in their high school/college days can still scoop it like a pro while my scoops look like a pile of turd
I don’t, but I wish I did for nostalgia’s sake. I’ve thought about finding one and putting it up on our collectibles area.
My parents still make me scoop the ice cream whenever I’m over because I’m “the expert”. My scoops look like crap because I’m a pig and I believe in the “just pile as much as you can into the bowl” method.
Speaking of which, since this past Sunday was National Ice Cream day, I decided to try a new recipe for topping our ice cream. Made a dark chocolate syrup that was almost fudgy. I find most chocolate syrups too thin for my tastes and I like dark chocolate. This one wasn’t as thick as a hot fudge but still goey with a nice sheen. A minute in the microwave to heat up and it was tasty on top of some vanilla bean ice cream.
That is exactly my experience!