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Best ice cream in Los Angeles- an updated poll

There are a lot of postings for ice cream, but I can't seem to find a recent poll of the best ice cream in LA. So apologies in advance to anyone who feels this topic has been posted already. Please, who has the best ice cream and what are your favorite flavors? If you have a top 3 of favorites, please rank and list. I personally don't have anything original because I feel lost in Coldstone Creamery land. I would love to find a GREAT vanilla and coffee without the butterfat that sticks to the roof of your mouth.

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  1. The vanilla with white truffles ice cream made by the sushi chef at Zen Café in the California Mart. Real vanilla beans and real white truffles. Out of this world. Also, his black sesame ice cream is nothing short of spectacular.

    1. Don't Laugh, Costco Super Premium Vanilla, super rich and creamy. $9- for two half gallons.

      8 Replies
      1. re: russkar

        Another Don't Laugh.. T H R I F T Y.. I enjoy it all the time..

        1. re: Foodandwine

          F&W, don't laugh but Thrifty is my back up if I'm out of Costco's.

          1. re: russkar

            Does anyone know if Costco uses their Super Premium Vanilla in their ice cream bars that they sell at the concession stand? Those ice cream bars are awesome, and an outrageous bargain at 1.50.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              I think it's identical. At least it tastes the same to me. If you thought the Bars are a deal , which they are , wait till you have about 10 bars in a half gallon for 4.50.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                I don't think there's a better ice cream bar out there. With the thick layer of chocolate and almonds, so good.

              2. re: russkar

                Okay, I'm glad we're coming out of the Thrifty closet here! I love the Black Cherry!

                1. re: peachmahoney

                  Black Cherry RULES! I always have a square in the freezer.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                I love Foselman's lychee ice cream!

                1. re: eileen216

                  wooo their taro and cherry vanilla are INSANE

                  1. re: ns1

                    I got some Fosselman's cherry vanilla for my SO...he's hooked. Stuff's more addictive than crack. Thank God they're located all the way in Alhambra.

                    1. re: 2surly

                      dunno where you're located, but i believe that fosselman's is available in culver city in the sandwich shop located in the best buy shopping center.

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  I don't know why this discussion even continued after Fosselman's name came up, but de gustibus and all that. I had some Baskin-Rodent's pralines & cream this afternoon, a fave of mine from back in the days when BR was the only ice cream store in our town, and it was quite as delicious as always...but the texture felt so coarse and gritty, the flavors so two-dimensional. It was like eating a Hershey bar after you'd gotten used to REAL chocolate

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    And a little tidbit just for you, Will Owen ... Fosselman's has been offering their snowballs just in time for the holidays! Hip hip hooray!

                    1. re: condiment

                      In addition to their excellent gelato, do they have ice cream now, also?

                    2. http://www.mashtimalone.com/

                      Their coffee is amazing. Also tons of other unique flavors.
                      Not to dairy-fattish, and more important to me,
                      not too sugar-bomb sweet like Fosselmans is.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: benoswald

                        To each his own. I'm ok with Mashti's flavors, but texture -- "mouth-feel" -- is a big part of the ice cream experience for me, and Mashti is so loaded with emulsifiers that it might as well be Baskin-Robbins.

                        1. re: maxzook

                          Stop reading my mind.

                          The emulsifiers in Mashti Malone's are gross, and it seems to have only gotten worse over the years. It's almost like eating cold whipped cooking oil. The thing is, they seem to pride themselves on their emulsifiers from the sign on the wall that explains the importance of gum arabic and it role as an emulsifier. Well, points for honesty, but still, it's pretty bad.

                        2. re: benoswald

                          I just remembered: the Persian-style ice cream at the Rose Market on Westwood Blvd. is ten times better.

                          1. re: maxzook

                            Agreed. Eating Mashti Malone is like eating wax.

                            1. re: hrhboo

                              i've never had mashti, but if you have a hankering for a waxy, grainy, frozen dairy-based substance masquerading as ice cream, just stop into any coldstone creamery. man, that stuff is gross.

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                I agree, it's pretty bad but my kids love it, and they have had both L.A. and S.F.'s best!!!

                                1. re: sel

                                  My kids like it too - especially that vivid-blue bubble gum flavor, and the cake batter ice cream that was so vile I actually spat it out. I wonder if they custom-stale the mix-ins. There's a lot of turnover, so I can't otherwise understand how nuts could get so rancid.

                          2. re: benoswald

                            Linking ...

                            Rose Market
                            1922 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                          3. Scoops. Their flavors constantly change, always innovative.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: WBGuy

                              I like Scoops and I think Tai is a genius, a mad genius to be exact. But the appeal of Scoops is the outlandish flavors that Tai can fuse together, not the ice cream per se.

                            2. STILL haven't been to Scoops, and kicking myself silly!

                              Right now, I prefer frozen yogurt...well, the "Wow Cow" and "carbolite" I always did. Not a faddish thing, a fat and calorie thing.

                              Still, when I want to go all the way with ice cream (kinky!) I like to go to Mashti Malone's. even the simple vanilla is really good.

                              I also like the madagascar vanilla custard at Lucky Devil's. Ok, so technically it's not ice cream.

                              I guess my last pick would be the Gelson's Gelato counter. I really dig it. The flavors I like there right now are the Yogurt, Pumpkin, Chocolate, Peach, and Blood Orange (Arancia Rossa). I recently saw something crazy looking there, and it was fruit cake flavor. I couldn't have it (nuts bad for my allergy) but my husband had a taste and really liked it. It looks crazy, though.

                              fact, blood orange and chocolate go really well together. I like to take a scoop of Blood Orange and sandwich it between two freshly baked chocolate chip cookies! Oh YUM

                              But still, whenever I get to scoops, I'll probably alter my rankings.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: Diana

                                Which Gelson's has a gelato counter?

                                1. re: maxzook

                                  I've seen ope at Encino and Woodland Hills (or Whatever they call the one on Topanga Canyon..Calabasas?) I think they also might have it at Pasadena and Culver city, but I'd call them first!

                                  1. re: Diana

                                    Whole Foods also has Blood Orange sorbet, and its delicious.

                                    1. re: avena

                                      You meant the Ciao Bella ones? It was surprisingly good - not too sweet and about 1/2 the calories of equivalent amount of ice cream.

                                      1. re: notmartha

                                        Its from the gelato bar, so I don't know if its a certain brand, or just the WF generic sorbet. Its the only flavor I ever get there because I can't seem to resist it and try something new.

                                        1. re: avena

                                          The grapefruit campari is also fab.

                                  2. Ditto to all the people who will nominate Scoops. Enough folks will sing its praises, so I won't waste my time discussing the innovative flavors, the fresh ingredients, the friendly staff, the great prices, and so on.

                                    I'm surprised how rarely Boule's ice cream is mentioned. Boule is known mostly for pastries, and its ice cream certainly isn't a bargain. Still, Boule makes great flavors - even if they seem to have abandoned the fun experimentation that marked their offerings in the early days of operation - with fresh ingredients. Boule's ice cream is very light, I've found, not as fatty in mouth feel even as the offerings at many gelaterias. Of course, one could buy three three-scoop cups at Scoops for one three-scoop serving at Boule, but if one is in the Beverly Center area, it's worth a stop, especially with some macarons alongside.

                                    There are a lot of gelateria in the city these days. I think Pazzo Gelato is really overrated between their combination of poor service (at least for some and not others, often at the same moment), strange, Mashtiesque mouthfeel, and ho-hum flavor experiments. I'm fond of Al Gelato on Robertson myself. It's older and much better than the cookie-cutter gelaterias like Il Cono and such, which all seem to be serving up the same gelato-from-a-box flavors.

                                    1. A little known but wonderful ice cream gem is Helados Pops, a Salvadoran ice cream parlor in a strip mall on Vermont near Santa Monica (including Salvadoran fruit like zapote and maranon). Great tropical fruit flavors and some of the best strawberry ice cream around.

                                      1. Handel's in Upland on Mountain Ave., if your in IE. best pistachio, great selection!

                                        Fosselman's in Alhambra.

                                        That gelato place at One Colorado in Old Town Pasadena

                                        18 Replies
                                        1. re: Sarsa

                                          Handel's ...yummy...i'm taking a friend to ontario airport on friday, after i push her out of the car, i'm off to handel's....haven't been since august....i may just OD on the stuff !!!

                                          1. re: kjs

                                            Hey Kjs,
                                            I hope you survive Handel's. They have so many flavors. Lately I'm into their Graham Central Station and Strawberry Cheesecake. Let me know how it goes...

                                            1. re: Sarsa

                                              I had a scoop of heavenly hash and chocolate malt with caramel....GREAT !! i had strawberry cheesecake last time i was there...the person that ordered before me had blueberry cheesecake...i could see a large clump of blueberry...i actually drooled !!! i decided i'm going down the entire menu...do they change the menu much ?? my sis needs a drop-off to ontario airport.....gee where am i going tomorrow ?!?!? merry x-mas to me !

                                              1. re: kjs

                                                Yesterday I tried Handel's for the first time, and I got pistachio. It had the nuts in every bite I took. It tasted great, and I really liked it. Its not for anyone who doesn't like big chunky nuts in their ice cream though. Very heavy on the nuts. Are you going to go down the menu alphabetically? If so, its too bad pistachio is quite far down the list. Oh well, you will probably have a good time getting there.

                                                1. re: avena

                                                  it's sad....my sisters flight was at 10:00 am today so no handel's !!! I CRY !!! at least her flight returns at 2:00 pm on monday....i hope they are open on x-mas eve.....i'm getting 2 scoops again !!! yeah...i was figuring alphabetically....we'll see

                                                  1. re: kjs

                                                    Well I hope they are open on x-mas eve. Why don't you take some home, I always do. Have you ever tried their Handel's Pops? I love their fresh peach during the summer and black cherry too. Happy Holidays!

                                                    I once had a Black walnut, bannana, honey ice cream from TJ's that was soooo good that I'm always on the look out (for like 20 yrs now)so if you know of where I can get it pretell.

                                                  2. re: avena

                                                    Their Pistacio is crazy great.Not only are there nuts in every bite but they are actualy pistacios!
                                                    Do you live in IE? What are your favorite eats in IE?

                                              2. re: kjs

                                                Hi My partner is from Niles, Ohio, the home of Handel's! We haven't been out there yet. I'm from Buffalo, NY and I grew up (and out) on some of the best ice cream in the country. So, I'm spoiled. Some people like exotic flavors. I will only eat real vanilla with REAL chocolate or hot fudge or bittersweet on it. And real whipped cream. So I haven't found any ice cream out here that compares.

                                                1. re: schmegegy

                                                  i'm jello...
                                                  I am kinda new to IE and had noticed they were always busy so one day I stopped and result is many quarts of Handel's in my freezer

                                              3. re: Sarsa

                                                I'm glad you mentioned that place in One Colorado. Back when I lived in Pasadena all those years ago, that was my favorite gelato place.

                                                I'll list off specific flavors:
                                                Brown Bread at Scoops
                                                Blood Orange Sorbet at Milk
                                                Pistachio at Bulgarini
                                                Cappucino Crunch at Al Gelato

                                                1. re: SauceSupreme

                                                  Cool. I will research each one of those places and be sure to check em out in my travels. I am so into Blood oranges these days. Charles makes blood orange fruit pate that is great. What is brown bread like?

                                                  1. re: Sarsa

                                                    It's sort of like a good dulce de leche, but not as cloyingly sweet, and of course there's the textural difference owing to the little crunchy grape nuts that Tai puts on top.

                                                    1. re: SauceSupreme

                                                      As anyone who has ever been to Rhode Island can tell you, ice cream with Grape-Nuts is the greatest food known to man.

                                                      1. re: SauceSupreme

                                                        Thanks, I will try it. That grape nuts thing reminds me of granola on yogurt

                                                  2. re: Sarsa

                                                    That gelato place is Tutti Gelati.

                                                    1. re: maxzook

                                                      Yes, thats it-Outside of Rome, they have the best gelato I has had

                                                      1. re: Sarsa

                                                        I love it too. Can't resist the zabaglione.

                                                    2. re: Sarsa

                                                      Don't order the turtle sundae at Handel's if you don't like delicious ice-cream, chocolate and caramel sauces, pecans, whipped cream, and a cherry. If you do, then you can even have it made with turtle-sundae ice-cream!

                                                      I actually like Burt n Rocky's (north on Mountain, then east on Foothill to one block before Euclid -- south side of Foothill) better for simple cones. If you're into delicious, try the various forms of chocolate ice-cream. (Hint for people coming in after a long drive in the mountains: Unlike Handel's, Burt n Rocky's has a bathroom.)

                                                    3. Not sure if you are looking for a scoop shop or store bought, and don't know if you are looking for gelato, or strictly ice cream.

                                                      My favorite ice cream is Dr. Bob's Strawberry and Sour Cream or Tahitian Vanilla.
                                                      I liked Bulgarini's for light but creamy texture; however Fresh & Easy's Roasted Bananas wins in the flavor department and its very smooth and creamy.

                                                      Fosselman's good, but I don't go out of my way to eat there. Tried Han's at Costa Mesa, and I think they are as good as Fosselman's.

                                                      1. Fosselman's. 60% butterfat can't be wrong. Parking can be a pain when it's busy, though.

                                                        1. I tried Scoop's today. I was surprised how "ma and pop" the shop was...it was refreshing. They said the flavors change daily. I had the pink grapefruit & pear sorbet and the mango coconut ice cream. My husband had the banana coffee and mocha chocolate. It was great!

                                                          Next one to try is Dr Bob's. They didn't have a big selection at Gelson's. Just vanilla and 3 versions of the Sch Berger chocolate. Any place else they carry a bigger selection in West LA or the valley?

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: bakersdozen

                                                            Surfas carries a decent selection of Dr. Bob's.

                                                              1. re: sku

                                                                Surfas also carries some Delicieuse flavors which I think is even better (and more expensive). They also sell their house brand too. I haven't eaten the Bulgarini stuff although it seems to be a popular choice. I do like the gelato they sell at Piccomolo (sp?) in Little Tokyo. They have a couple of other places around locally I know. I keep saying I'll try Glacier in Manhattan Beach, but it's in a bad location for an ice cream shop although it has a big enough parking lot. I went there when it first opened, but the gal behind the counter didn't want to scoop a pint for me and kind of pushed me towards buying the prepackaged pints (not my flavor of choice) in the freezer. I sort of went out of my way to go there, so I haven't been back.

                                                            1. re: bakersdozen

                                                              I just recently had Dr. Bobs for the first time at the LA County Fair and It took me all day to find it without a map. Seriously, it became the quest and chant of the day. Find Dr. Bob's! Find Dr. Bob's!

                                                              Once I found it I was having a hard time deciding between the Cappuccino Crunch or the OREO. I tried cappuccino and really liked it, and then I was handed some OREO.

                                                              Literally...I put that spoon in my mouth and shouted OREO. I was happily surprised that my generous single scoop in a cup even had full sized freakin' cookies! C'mon... what's better then that?

                                                            2. after dinner at josie last night we ordered their homemade ice cream for dessert. you get 3 scoops, so of the 6 or so flavors offered we chose creme fraiche, chocolate, and walnut crunch.

                                                              the creme fraiche was unique and lovely - very subtle and refreshing, not sweet at all. the walnut would have been excellent on its own, but the "crunch" came from sickeningly sweet candied walnuts- that killed it for me.

                                                              the hands-down winner was, surprisingly the chocolate. my friend and i both agreed that it just might have been the best chocolate ice cream either of us has ever had!

                                                              1. Kuri (chestnut) ice cream at Yakitoriya on Sawtelle. It's seasonal, and totally delish!

                                                                1. 1. Scoops (esp. for vegan and weirder fullfat dairy flavors that excite me)
                                                                  2. Fosselmans (for old standbys)
                                                                  3. Thrifty's

                                                                  1. Since the lamented demise of Eiger in Brentwood, the best vanilla ice cream is McConnell's, based in Santa Barbara, but with an outlet at the Fisherman's Wharf in Redondo Beach and at Gelson's everywhere.

                                                                    We all scream for links ..

                                                                    Mcconnells Ice Cream Yogurt
                                                                    100 Fishermans Wharf, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

                                                                    McConnell's Ice Cream
                                                                    835 E Canon Perdido St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

                                                                    2424 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

                                                                    2901 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039

                                                                    11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 101, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                                    Fosselman's Ice Cream Co
                                                                    1824 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801

                                                                    Lucky Devils
                                                                    6613 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                                                                    Bulgarini Gelato
                                                                    749 E Altadena Dr, Altadena, CA 91001

                                                                    Mashti Malone's Ice Cream
                                                                    1525 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                                                                    712 N Heliotrope Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90029

                                                                    Boule Pastry Shop
                                                                    420 N La Cienega Blvd West, Hollywood, CA

                                                                    Cafe Zen
                                                                    110 E 9th St, Los Angeles, CA 90079

                                                                    Thrifty Drug Stores
                                                                    446 E Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                                                                    Helados Pops
                                                                    1010 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA

                                                                    Handel's Homemade Ice Cream
                                                                    373 S Mountain Ave, Upland, CA 91786

                                                                    Tutti Gelati
                                                                    62 W Union St, Pasadena, CA 91103

                                                                    Hans' Homemade Ice Cream
                                                                    3640 S Bristol St, Santa Ana, CA 92704

                                                                    1. delicieuse


                                                                      2503 Artesia Blvd
                                                                      Redondo Beach, CA 90278
                                                                      (310) 793-7979

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: westsidegal


                                                                        2503 Artesia Blvd, Redondo Beach, CA 90278

                                                                        1. re: maxzook

                                                                          Third Delicieuse. Wonderful flavors and mouthfeel can't be beat. Very friendly dad and daughter. Check out the back room to relax and eat your scoop in.

                                                                      2. i'm not going to even read what was posted...the answer is SCOOPS!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                        my favorite flavor is brown bread. :) and anything green. :)

                                                                        1. Not sure if it's **the best**, but Milk is pretty good. Their coffee toffee bonbons and cookies and cream are excellent.

                                                                          On a side note... only in LA is it possible to discuss the best ice cream in early December. :)

                                                                          7290 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: ray9x

                                                                            I concur on Milk... especially for their Milky Way Malt.

                                                                            And since my native Massachusetts consumes more ice cream per capita than anywhere else in the country, cold-weather ice cream consumption isn't as rare as you might think...

                                                                          2. How liberal is the interpretation of L.A.? Because Dewar's in Bakersfield has some really good ice cream, All-American division. I think it is, or at least used to be, also served at the Disney soda fountain in Hollywood.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: condiment

                                                                              When it comes to ice cream, we're all left-of-center.

                                                                              Dewar's Candy Shop
                                                                              1120 Eye St, Bakersfield, CA 93304

                                                                              1. re: maxzook

                                                                                Dewar's...and great peanut butter filled taffy as well!

                                                                              1. In a place like LA, there's always room for a topic like this given the new storefronts/brands emerging. Thanks for bringing back this topic, bakersdozen.

                                                                                My vote:
                                                                                1. Glacier in Manhattan Beach (great traditional and unique flavors, generous samples)
                                                                                2. Al Gelato
                                                                                3. Scoops
                                                                                (and if I can, #4 is a brand of ice cream that I sampled at the Pasadena Whole Foods last week...it came in a yellow-and-brown-colored pint; I believe the company *only* makes chocolate and vanilla flavors, sourced from indigenous cocao and vanilla from around the world...I tried the Aztec chocolate flavor (I believe that's the name), and it was divine)

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: kermit


                                                                                  Glacier Ice Cream & Gelato
                                                                                  1605 N Sepulveda Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

                                                                                  Al Gelato Continental Desserts
                                                                                  806 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

                                                                                  Rite Aid
                                                                                  5575 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                                                                                  1. re: kermit

                                                                                    i'd love to know the brand of this aztec ice cream if anyone else has tried it...

                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                      Well, probably way too late to answer this for Kermit and GoodHealthGourmet, as I am sure by now you found the answer. Others might be interested though if they saw this thread late in the game, like me! The "Aztec Ice Cream" you are trying to remember I am pretty sure is Choctal Ice Cream out of Pasadena. It is correct that they only focus on vanilla and chocolate varieties (indigenous cacao and vanilla only). Packaging is as Kermit described. Incredible stuff! Bristol Farms carry it as well as some small specialty stores. There is a search engine for finding it via local stores at their website.


                                                                                  2. Now that gelato's in the mix on this thread, my wife and i have been to Piccomolo on San Pedro St. and 2nd in Little Tokyo.. surprisingly tasty.

                                                                                    We usually combine their Hazelnut, Roasted Almond, Pistachio, and Cookies & Cappucino together in a take home box. It's insane!


                                                                                    1. After much confusion searching online for Piccomolo's correct address, i found the right one..

                                                                                      135 S. San Pedro St
                                                                                      Los Angeles, CA 90012

                                                                                      135 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                                                                                      1. Strickland's Frozen Custard in Irvine is a bit too sweet for my taste, but it's very good, nevertheless. Soft-serve style, the Platonic ideal of Dairy Queen.

                                                                                        4523 Campus Drive, Irvine, CA

                                                                                        1. OP: did you mean just ice cream? OR, Iinclude gelato, etc?

                                                                                          1. I really like the vanilla cakes at Maggie Moo's on Foothill in La Verne (in the shopping center with the In'N'Out on the corner).

                                                                                            Maggie Moo's
                                                                                            2084 Foothill Blvd
                                                                                            La Verne, CA 91750
                                                                                            (909) 596-6086

                                                                                            1. Shockacone icecream at Cold Stone!

                                                                                              1. Milk on Melrose has outstanding ice cream and excellent milkshakes. Don't know the butterfat content, but it tastes high.

                                                                                                1. I just discovered that they have Dr. Bob's ice cream at Franks Famous Bakery in Montrose. It's on Verdugo Rd. My other favorite place is Scoops on Heliotrope and Melrose.

                                                                                                  1. The Beverly Center sucks, but inside that decadent dungeon is an absolute gem of ice cream nirvana called Silky Smooth Ultra Creamery www.silkysmoothcreamery.com and http://www.yelp.com/biz/silky-smooth-... .
                                                                                                    Nothing I have ever tried compares...texture, flavor, freshness. Simply amazing.