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three trips to scoops

  • j

The first visit was the day that Korea lost to France in the World Cup. Scoops was the consolation prize to self and pups after sitting on the lawn in Koreatown off Wilshire watching the game with all the other fans. There were five of us--one picky guest pup who rejected all ice cream when he discovered that Scoops doesn't have plain vanilla. But the rest of us---after generous tastes of at least half the flavors--- had scoops of strawberry cheesecake, custardfruit/jackfruit, butterscotch&butterbrickle, chocolate peanut butter and one fig&yogurt milkshake. Yum. In particular, the strawberry cheesecake had discernable hunks of cheesecake in it, the chocolate peanut butter, both chocolatey and peanutbuttery with a rich dark color, was pronounced "my favorite" by the 6 year old.

For reasons which escape me, it took us over a month to get back there but when we did, the owner greeted us "hi, long time isn't it? not since the Korea game?" yikes! how did he recognize us---is he a real person? This time we were celebrating my getting off work early by having icecream for dinner. The flavors were all different this time and the choices were really rough. In the end, we had mocha cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake and cashew anise. And after my scoop of cashew anise was gone, I headed back for a refill of strawberry lavender which was AMAZING.... We brought home a peach almond milkshake for husband [and didn't even taste it on the way home] which he enjoyed greatly.

Two days later, we were back in a flash to buy pints for a party. To my dismay, the strawberry lavender was all gone and replaced by a bevy of yummy new flavors. As before, we tried lots and then settled on single pints of peach almond, chocolate oreo, white chocolate brandy and [believe it or not] walnut raisin gorgonzola. The peach almond tasted like peach wine [that french infused stuff] smells, the chocolate oreo had hunks of oreo in it, the white chocolate brandy had brandy [and almost nudged strawberry cheesecake out the six year old's heart for Favorite] and the gorgonzola--well, as a fellow taster said, its a meal. Not really sweet, pleasant taste of gorgonzola and walnut, screamed for a water cracker and maybe a glass of sherry. Curiously enough, the ice cream choice of the 8 year old pup though a number of adults at the dinner didn't know what to make of it.

All pints were pretty much inhaled at the party but the last of the walnut gorgonzola went home with us and hid in the freezer for about a week. When we finished it off, we decided that it had gotten a little crystelly. I still think it would make steller ice cream sandwich appetizers with those pepper/poppyseed water crackers from Trader Joes.

so final flavors we have tasted run down to date:
butterscotch-butter brickle
chocolate oreo
chocolate peanut butter
custard fruit-jackfruit
mocha cheesecake
peach almond
strawberry cheesecake
strawberry lavender
walnut raisin gorgonzola
white chocolate brandy

If you have tried other flavors, do share.

I can't wait until the weekend!

712 North Heliotrope Drive
LA CA 90029
open noon to 9pm, monday to Saturday

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  1. Cashew-anise? I'm curious what that was like.

    Of the exotics I've had Scoops, the best might have been the pistachio-lychee, which much to my surprise reminded me of green tea mochi for some reason. Odd, but wonderfully delicious.

    1. Day before yesterday, I had tiramisu and coffee-hazelnut (I know, coffee, coffee, and coffee...) and had a taste of green tea-horchata; Chowspouse had ginger-wasabi (which she said was tasty, but needed much more ginger) and (IIRC) pineapple/pine-nut. We also saw, but didn't try tamarind-cinnamon.

      So, at those prices (LOW), and at that location, how's this guy gonna stay afloat? PLEASE support him!

      r gould-saltman

      1. Today...vegan flavors: chai (perfect!), cookie dough (a favorite for shakes even though it doesn't work well with a straw), and coffee/peanut butter (a surprisingly tasty combination).

        Tell your friends!!

        1. I went to Scoops tonight and got two scoops: One of Lemon & Black Pepper ice cream and another of Pineapple-Guava sorbet. Both were very good and refreshing. I also tried Black Sesame which was also excellent.

          1. Back again. Chocolate-habanero, brown bread (spouse)
            sour-cherry-cinnamon and mango-apple (me)

            r gould-saltman

            1. We hit Scoops on Saturday afternoon. Spouse had White Chocolate mint, I had sour cherry-lemon-cinnamon and the pups had strawberry-litchee. Very intense cinnamon flavor on mine. The strawberry litchee was amazing--heavy dose of strawberry with litchee aftertaste. Lucky for me, younger pup was stuffed from a trip to Apple pan and couldn't finish her ice cream [oh darn!] so I had to help. I also tasted the black sesame, mango apple, the chocolate habanero and the blueberry banana [blueberry color with intense banana flavor].

              We would also cry if Scoops went away but my understanding is that the shop has been in business for about a year. We have a theory about him and the shop---we think he owns the entire block and has decided that now that rents are high, he can afford to engage in his real love: making ice cream, while using all the rest of his real estate holdings for income... okay, well, its what I would do.

              Go to Scoops! Eat ice cream!

              1. I heard "brown bread" is a staple favorite there. When I went I had the tiramisu (not that uncommon) and the hazelnut-orange blossom (which was like WHOA!)

                I also bought an ice cream cake there, made with mango ice cream (it's not particularly well-decorated, but heck, it tasted great!)

                1. Searched out this place on Saturday after reading about it on the board. Had the pistachio saffron which was really nice with small strands of saffron. Please support this unique, interesting place. The owner is extremely friendly and devoted.

                  1. If it were just 10 minutes closer to me I'd go everyday just to try new flavors. I heard he had truffles (the fungi) and maple syrup the other day as a flavor. The owner, Tai, will talk your head off about ice cream for an hour if you let him. BTW, he mentioned that the store space used to be a private studio space owned and used by Lucille Ball.

                      1. Scoops is good.

                        Had Chocolate/Wasabi & GreenTea/SunflowerSeed today!

                        The word is OliveOil will be making an appearance soon.

                        Although Prosciutto will not. "Proscuitto ice cream would be the end of of ice cream, I think." Made me laugh!

                        Thai Town for lunch, Scoops for dessert!

                        Speaking of Thai, I've got a GREAT idea for a flavor and I'm going to mention it when I go back and see what happens. Anyone have a guess? No, it's not Som Tum although the thought did cross my mind!

                        Oh and jenn, I think you need a blog.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: cobalt

                          Well, kaffir lime (sorbet?) is the obvious guess. But holy basil might be nice too, maybe with some nice Isan lychee honey.

                          Taro/coconut with corn? Thai basil with galanga?

                          1. re: ladelfa


                            I was thinking simple with 'Thai Iced Tea' (from scratch, NO MIX!) :)


                        2. oh, if does serve olive oil gelato, i'm there.

                          i hope he serves avocado ice cream again.

                          black peppercorn.
                          Sichuan pepper with cherry.
                          maple ice cream.
                          fourm d'ambert blue cheese ice cream.
                          st agur's ice cream.
                          toffee ice cream.
                          salted caramel ice cream.
                          and lastly foie gras ice cream with sauternes blended in there.
                          and short rib ice cream with coconut puffs.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: kevin

                            ... he did mention he'd had foie gras ice cream while attending culinary school.

                            1. re: kevin

                              oooh, sichuan peppercorn anything would be nifty!!!!

                              I like the idea of the salted caramel too.

                                1. re: sel

                                  i missed the sichuan peppercorn?!?!?!?

                                  oh gosh, NOT FAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  1. re: jenn

                                    I'm sorry (my post wasn't clear)! I'm not saying that I had Sichuan Peppercorn and Facing Heaven Chilis Ice Cream at Scoops; I'm just suggesting it as a possible flavor combination. Again sorry for the confusion!

                            2. The family went yesterday without me. I was at work [boo hoo]. My son had the chocolate peanut butter [vegan version which is made with soy milk] and my husband and daughter had the white chocolate banana.

                              They brought some of the white chocolate banana for me! I couldn't really find the white chocolate flavor but the banana was delicious and I'm not one for banana flavored things. Very fresh tasting.

                              My daughter was rather indignant when I didn't give her any of my ice cream. She insists that white chocolate banana was "her favorite." When reminded that she said the same thing about the white chocolate brandy, the chocolate peanut butter and the strawberry-litchi, she replied "But they are my favorite too."

                              1. I can't eat soy...do they have ice cream that doesn't contain any soy products?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: jackattack

                                  Yes. They have lots of wonderful flavors of regular ice cream---its mostly regular ice cream. They also have sorbet. I mentioned the vegan flavor because my son is somewhat lactose intolarant and didn't have his pills. He says it was yummy.

                                2. My son and I dropped by last night. Tried several flavors, including some sort of Berry/Tiramisu combination and mascarpone. I wish I'd ordered the Mascarpone, but instead I got Chocolate Wasabi, which seemed to get spicier (and less enjoyable) with each bite. The Chocolate Wasabi was great for one bite, but not my cup of tea for two whole scoops worth. My son got Brown Bread which was very good.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Itslikeimsayin

                                    Hey! I tried the chocolate wasabi! I actually found I liked it more with more bites though it seemed to be a loner sort of icecream that didn't blend very well with any of the rest of the family's choices. I also had the fig/almond. I thought that the almond was nicely balenced with the fig.

                                    My son had the vegan chocolate apricot and it was fantastic--I'd never have thought it was vegan. His second flavor was litchi. We both liked the litchi as did the girl pup but my husband--who likes litchis but not in things--wasn't so thrilled.

                                    What made him happy was a scoop of brown bread paired with one of maple vanilla and I must confess, it made a nice combination.

                                    Actually, last night I found myself in an icecream mood so after round 1, I had a second round with pistachio kulfi and mango something. The pistachio had subtle notes of saffron and cardemon which were very nice. The mango was with some liquor the name of which is escaping me but the mango part was excellent and the liquor seemed to have given it a nice texture.

                                    1. re: jenn

                                      The pistachio kulfi (there's lots of cardmon in it) was astounding and somehow even better than the pistachio-saffron-rosewater one I had there the week before. Both times I felt as though I could keep on eating that forever.

                                  2. I just returned from scoops with a pint of his cashew ice cream. It is sensational (my eyes are swirling around in my head)-very subtle, fragrant and creamy.

                                    1. I just made my first trip to scoops! This man is amazing. I sampled a bevy of flavors and went with the brown bread! It was a delight. After checking out "pinkberry" due to the craze and being quite disappointed, I was tickled pink that scoops lived up to all that you say!

                                      I scream for Ice Cream (Scoops that is!)

                                      1. Just want to say thanks to all who rec'd Scoops. Went there Saturday night and was not disapointed in the least!!!

                                        I still can't believe the bill was $8 for four people. I would have gladly paid double. The owner was so nice and friendly. I would have died to have fig in any incantation but it was not available :(

                                        Still I was plenty happy with my selections. Between the four of us we had

                                        cashew-orange blossom
                                        brown bread
                                        Vegan chocolate mouse
                                        maple oreo

                                        all were exelent. I had such a hard time deciding. the Black sesame-coconut that I tasted was amazing!

                                        1. Based on everyone's responses, I went to Scoops this Saturday with the wife. I tried a number of flavors but settled on orange rum, brown bread, and orange-red wine sorbet. It was fantastic and we'll be making a trip out there again. The orange-red wine was nice in that it brought out the flavors of the other ice cream.

                                          As a number of you have mentioned, the owner is quite nice and told me that he has created 400 flavors. I only have 397 more to go!

                                          Finally, no one has mentioned what a nice street he's on. It was my first time in that neighborhood. Can anyone recommend other interesting spots in that area?

                                          1. Being an ice cream lover, I finally got to Scoops. It was fantastic! I got pumpkin-oreo and safron water/orange. Pumpkin-oreo was delicious, but I really loved the safron water/orange. It was so light, it was like tasting air with flavor if that makes sense. I still love buttery stuff like Fossilman's, but Scoops is definitely going to be on my list of monthly (if not weekly) visits. I love ice cream so much, I actually went to Scoops before my dinner at Mako...haha.

                                            1. Black Tea Cloudberry was amazing! The black tea added a very refreshing quality to the ice cream (which was enhanced by the slightly icy texture) and the cloudberries a nice crunch. One of the best ice creams I've tasted.

                                              1. I just stopped by this afternoon and it was all locked up. Was hoping I'd get the chance to try out some of this fabulous ice cream today. grumble. I knew I should of referred to Chowhound before jumping into my car, grrr.......

                                                1. Last night, I indulged the senses with a scoop of Eggnog Rum and a Vegan dark chocolate rasberry. Delish! The fresh mint was a divine palate cleansing sample, too.

                                                  1. Update: Can't believe its been nearly a year since my first post on Scoops. Sure wish I'd done a better job of keeping track of the flavors.

                                                    Still going to Scoops, still loving the flavors. We would go more--like very single day-- but Tai has made it clear he does not think much of our idea that ice cream is a perfectly good substitute for dinner for the pups. Sigh.

                                                    In June, Scoops was the destination of choice to celebrate the end of school for the pups. We ate and ate and ate. For the curious, three full rounds is about all one can take, even if one is a 9 year old boy, you can pass off marscapone ice cream as vanilla for the unadventurous and basil is just awesome in ice cream.

                                                    Last night's trip offered a festival of ginger---ginger chocolate [a vegan version], ginger vanilla, yum and many chocolate themed things like chocolate oreo. There had been a cappichino earlier but we arrived late and it was pretty much gone. Vegan vanilla was a hit with the small pup while her sibling went straight for vegan jackfruit/pineapple soda. I liked the tiramisu pretty well--it was not very sweet which was pleasant and the cinnamon something. Spouse went for the almond horchata which was yummy enough that I got some on the second round after tasting his. Blueberry cheese cake was also very good---very blueberry in flavor, light on the cheese but none of that over sweet faux cornsyrup taste.

                                                    Just as we had settled down for our second rounds, Tai came out with a new flavor--green tea and something [maybe almond? I didn't quite hear]. If you like real green tea--the ground up tea ceremony type--this was awesome. Very intense, not at all sweet but NOT grainy.

                                                    This week, the eldest child arrives from Norway. We voted last night and decided she needed to go to Scoops every day so she could try as many flavors as possible.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: jenn

                                                      Anybody want to compare vs Fosselman's?

                                                      1. re: ns1

                                                        You know, its just a different species of fish and comparing the two is like comparing shrimp to swordfish--in otherwords not a reasonable comparison because its two completely different things. I love Scoops, I love the creativity of Scoops and the fact I never know what I'll end up having.

                                                        I think it would be better to compare Fosselmans with Umpqua ice cream out of southern oregon. http://www.umpquadairy.com/
                                                        We had that ice cream on our recent road trip and it was awfully darned tasty. Very traditional American style ice cream and very good. Elder pup had the rainbow--nice clean flavors of lime, orange and raspberry, small girl had chocolate and spouse had something which slips my sleep deprived mind though when we came through again, he had a malt and that was mighty fine.

                                                        1. re: ns1

                                                          Maybe we went on an off night, but our group of four all thought the ice cream was really mediocre at Scoops. We had:

                                                          - Coffee
                                                          - Maple and Cookies
                                                          - Strawberry and Vinegar
                                                          - Hazelnut
                                                          - Fig and Wasabi (inedible)

                                                          I'm a much bigger fan of Fosselman's which is deliciously rich and creamy as opposed to the chalky, bland ice cream we had at Scoops.

                                                          But, after reading all the raving reviews here and seeing the countless '5-stars' on yelp, I have to give it another shot. Atleast for the Brown Bread everyone keeps talking about.