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Interview with Tai Kim, proprietor of Scoops, in the LA Times

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  1. Tai has earned all the props he's getting.

    7 Replies
    1. re: J.L.

      Funny thing - one of the many things he said in the interview that didn't make the article was something like, "Yeah yeah yeah, everybody calls me a genius, genius. What I really want is criticism." He said that he trolls Chowhound and yelp looking for negative reviews, because that's what interested him - he wanted to know what to focus on and improve.

      Even knowing that, it's really hard to look him in the eye across the ice cream bar and say, "Hey Tai, this pineapple sorbet today? Totally flat compared to yesterday's."

      I tried to convince him to get little "comment and criticism forms", like they used to have in college cafeterias. This was only partially a joke.

      1. re: Thi N.

        Hi Thi,

        Great article (again)! :) Can't wait to read your next one.

        1. re: exilekiss

          Thanks. I actually have a notebook full of notes from the, like, hours of interviews I had. Tai and Viet are both... full of insight. And wonderful oddity. I wish I could release, like, a director's cut.

          1. re: Thi N.

            yes, please post some of the notes, esp. stuff regarding tai.

            I remember he did mention have people try a wide variety of flavors and taste combinations as an educator. He said this because I mentioned, "Only two bucks for a scoop of the foie gras ice cream."

            maybe soon he'll make a white truffle flavor and still charge the bargain-basement prices.

        2. re: Thi N.

          Let me preface this by saying I really really like Scoops, but if Tai wants some gripes I have with his store, here are a few:

          1. More consistent hours. Open when you say you are going to open.
          2. A bit more focus on basic flavors. How about a really good Vanilla Bean flavor? Or a simple Dark Chocolate? Sure, olive oil bacon with pistachio nut and lavender essence ice cream may be cool, but sometimes a person just wants a really good quality basic ice cream hit.
          3. Better hired help (this one maybe hopeless ... ).

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Tai usually "hovers" around, even if his helpers are on duty. If he sees me coming in, then he mans the counter himself (since I usually buy 5-6 pints at a time).

            1. re: J.L.

              When he first started, he actually didn't have any assistants. Sometimes I do see him scooping the ice cream himself. Usually he's on his laptop until a customer stops by.

              And another great thing is you can same all the flavors on offer that day with a nary a view askew from the proprietor.

      2. I STILL have yet to go. WHY haven't I gone??

        2 Replies
        1. re: Diana

          Same here Diana. :)

          I actually tried going twice, but each time I went, Scoops was closed (hadn't opened for the day yet - with the sometimes odd hours).

          1. re: exilekiss

            I've always found the hours to be all right. It is probably the best ice cream joint in town, of course, along with Fosselman's.

        2. What I also like about Scoops is there's lots of bike parking right outside. I only go to Scoops when I'm riding my bike.

          1. Whispers persist on recent sightings of a certain husky, follicle-challenged omnivore enjoying himself to no end on Tai's creative -- dare we say 'Bizarre'? -- flavor combos while video cameras rolled. Stay tuned.

            2 Replies