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Thoughts on the best ice cream places?

Big Boy JudiAU (3.5) and Toddler (1.5) like to eat. (thank god) Needless to say I am instructing them in all sorts of important things like how to properly construct an ice cream sundea and the etiquette of the cherry on top. (ask for two!)

What are the ice cream classics in LA?

Assuming I've been in a sleep deprived fog for the last year, what are the delicous new places?

Big Boy's favorite flavors are chocolate (Milk), Brown Bread (Scoops via Golden State), and Buttermilk Strawberry (Carmela). He also has a fondness for the Carmela Ice Cream sandwiches, Milk hot fudge and ice cream sundae and Santa Monica Pier/Soda jerks/arousel.

I'd like classic and fun flavors, good ice cream treats. Bonus place for classic/fun design AND good ice cream. Double bonus for organic or hormone free.

The Golden State
426 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036

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  1. My two two favorites are:
    Sweet Rose Creamery at The Brentwood Mart. The flavors are all homemade in the store and are wonderful. The Chocolate chip mint (with fresh mint) really pops with flavor.

    For the best gelato I love Grom in Malibu, They are from Italy and this is their first store in California (they have 3 stores in NYC) The Cantaloupe melon is my favorite flavor that I enjoyed so much at Grom's stores all across Italy last summer. I also love the the Caramello with carmel and Himalayan pink salt. This is worth a trip to Malibu (or Italy).

    3886 Cross Creek Road, Malibu, CA - 90265

    Sweet Rose Creamery
    225 26th St #51, Los Angeles, CA 90049

    5 Replies
    1. re: wienermobile

      Thanks! I think Sweet Rose Creamery was the new one I was trying to remember.

      Sweet Rose Creamery
      225 26th St #51, Los Angeles, CA 90049

      1. re: JudiAU

        Sweet Rose Creamery is awesome. Love every flavor I have tried.

        Sweet Rose Creamery
        225 26th St #51, Los Angeles, CA 90049

        1. re: maudies5

          Tried it today. Delicous, perhaps perfect, straweberry ice cream in a handmade cone. Wonderful.

          1. re: JudiAU

            I love Sweet Rose but I was there this week and there were only about eight flavors. The time before that there were over twenty. I think they need to figure something new out for times when they don't have a lot of fresh fruit.

            How many flavors did they have today?

            1. re: JudiAU

              I thought I would add that they also make excellent chocolate dipped bon bons on a stick. We had them for a children's party last week and they were a huge hit with the parents and kids.

      2. When I was a kid, it was Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor. They used to bring out a tub with like 50 scoops in it, with a band playing funny instruments, and it was so awesome. I haven't seen a Farrell's in years, though. There is one in Santa Clarita, but I don't know if it's related to the one I used to go to.

        Now, for good homemade ice cream, I go to Fosselman's in Alhambra.

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

        21516 Golden Triangle Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91350

        7 Replies
        1. re: katkoupai

          Note: Fosselman's to-go, in the half gallons, is not nearly as good as in the scoop shop. The half gallons have too much air pumped in. Flavor is still fine but consistency is Dreyers-like.

          There's an ice cream/ gelato place on the corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights, hidden in a mini-mall, that gets very good reviews.

          1. re: jackattack

            "There's an ice cream/ gelato place on the corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights, hidden in a mini-mall, that gets very good reviews"


            Are you talking about 8000 W Sunset, the mall where the Laemmle Sunset 5 theater is? I can't find any info about it. Did it replace the Pinkberry that closed?

            1. re: Peripatetic

              No, there was a place a block away. Don't recall what it was called but it closed.

              1. re: JudiAU

                Oh, where Cefiore was? (Same strip mall as Vivolo.)

              2. re: Peripatetic

                Nope I was talking about MICKEY AND SAM'S ICE CREAM PLUS, next to Subway in the Chase Bank/ McDonalds lot. Homemade ice cream and gelato and sorbets, and they also have frozen yogurt. Just phoned and they're still open, open until 11pm as a matter of fact. Will report back as soon as I can get over there to try their stuff.

                1. re: jackattack

                  Oh, _that_ place. I tried it once when I lived in the area and was underwhelmed. Never understood the rave reviews on Yelp. (Sure, it's Yelp, but this is one of the crazier discrepancies I've seen.)

              3. re: jackattack

                Note: Fosselman's to-go, in the half gallons, is not nearly as good as in the scoop shop. The half gallons have too much air pumped in.
                Confirmed on the half gallon containers being a little light in the weight and heavy on the air.
                Fosselman's has some good flavors and it appears to be the classic ice cream parlor, but personally I think their ice cream has gone downhill a bit since the old man died and the sons took over.

            2. not what you want, but I take advantage of the thread to mention GelatoVino on Sunset (near Tamarind) where I had an excellent orange blossom water gelato last month, and a very good chocolate-hazelnut one as well.
              I still prefer Bulgarini, but if you're in the neighborhood don't hesitate to swing by.

              1. Here's my list, depending on where you find yourself in this grand place we call SoCal.

                Paradis (Montrose/Glendale). www.paradis-icecream.com

                Fosselmans (Alhambra). www.fosselmans.com

                Scoops (mid-City and Palms)

                Bulgarini (Altadena)

                Saffron Spot (Artesia) http://www.saffronspot.com/

                Shojin (downtown LA / Little Toyko) http://www.theshojin.com/menu.htm#des...

                To JudiAU: If you are really looking for either organic or horomone free ice cream, then definitely look into Shojin. It's a sushi restaurant but they make some fantastic ice cream.

                5 Replies
                  1. re: Robert Thornton

                    Bulgarini is probably my favorite gelato place anywhere, but it's one of the least kid friendly on this list, unless your kids really like yogurt-olive oil or salted chocolate gelato - which some do, and it doesn't really meet the poster's request for "old time" ice cream.

                    1. re: sku

                      My kids, who are 8 and 4 and fairly picky, love it. I just go for the fruit ones, although my daughter is old enough to appreciate some of the less Baskin Robbins type flavors (e.g., the salted chocolate or olive oil you mentioned).

                      The OP saying that the kids love stuff like "brown bread" and "buttermilk strawberry" made me think they weren't just looking for old time. My kids love good, ripe fruit, and if you go for those at Bulgarini, it can really be the essence of the fruit in an ice cream package. True, you're not going to get any maraschino cherries or hot fudge, and my kids love that stuff, but they also love stopping by Bulgarini.

                      1. re: Robert Thornton

                        Fair enough, my kids like it as well, but I don't think everyone's would.

                        1. re: sku

                          The problem I've had with bringing kids to Bulgarini isn't so much the flavors, or the texture of gelato vis-a-vis ice cream, it's the amount of gelato they give you.

                          The problem with kids these days is that they are so pre-programmed with these ginormous scoops from places like Cold Stone or BaskinRobbins that anything short of an ice cream platter the size of their face is a letdown, no matter the taste.

                1. I recently tried LA Creamery (in Westfield Topanga mall) and thought it was really, really good.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Heidi

                    That's on my to do list. Did you happen to have any favorite flavors?

                    1. re: Ogawak

                      I tried the rocky road and the mixed berry and really liked those a lot. The rocky road is not too sweet which is in line with my general preference. I also had tries of two other flavors from others in my group which I thought were good, but not as good (and probably why I can't remember them...) I honestly thought it was the best ice cream I have had in a long time, which included trying the Gelato Bar mentioned below. I will be quite curious to know if others thinks it is as good as we do.

                      1. re: Heidi

                        Finally found LA Creamery at the Topanga Westfield Mall. So new they were still "coming soon" on the Mall directory. after a phone call, we found them next door to Nordstroms on the bottom floor.

                        It was excellent I liked their bittersweet chocolate, so rich at 70%. I enjoyed the Saffron, not so much for the saffron flavor as for the creaminess and texture.

                        we probably wouldn't drive there from Santa Monica just to have ice cream, but we do frequent the West Valley, and that's a nice place to stop by.

                        1. re: Ogawak

                          They were giving out samples at Vicente Foods in Brentwood last week. So, now available in pints in freezer case. I sampled the chocolate and vanilla. Excellent for packaged ice cream.

                  2. I love ice cream. Not really interested in ranking them, but here are some places I really like:

                    Handel's in Redondo Beach. Banana Cream Pie, S'Mores and their creamsicle version are among my favorites. They do a 4 scoop special for $5.00. We tried to split one and ending up getting another.

                    Bulgarini is incredible. I loved their blood orange. It sure is far, even if you live in Pasadena.

                    Carmela's is served at the Essential Chocolate bakeries. I understand they opened in Pasadena as well.

                    Rose Market in Westwood makes terrific Persian Ice Cream, as does Mashti Malone.

                    I also love Fosselman's and Scoops. Have yet to try the Culver City branch of Scoops.

                    Rite Aid's ice cream (used to be Thrifty's) still rocks

                    Strickland's makes a pseudo frozen custard that is probably the best of its kind around.

                    Off-topic: Berkeley, CA has to have the best ice cream per capita in the world. With Naia, Sketch, Tara's and Ici, the place will make you fat. Add to that Fenton's soda shop in North Oakland, the place is ice cream heaven.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Ogawak

                      I will vouch for the excellence of Carmela's in Pasadena. Went there on opening day, and took home two pints -- mint cacao nib for myself and lavender honey for my two year old daughter. We're both happy. The mint ice cream is the freshest tasting mint I've ever experienced, it's almost like chewing on mint leaves.

                      1. re: maxcatsilver

                        Carmaker is very good especially the mint sandwich ith a bit f salt on top. But he seller at the HFM is wy to slow and accommodating to annoying people. You arent handing over your retirement savings people-- just but some ice cream. Second most annoying stand at HFM after gush and before dealing with the "dumb girl" at Cafecito.

                      2. re: Ogawak

                        Persian Ice Cream, near the corner of Wilkins & Westwood, makes a fantastic rosewater ice cream and cucumber ice cream.

                        Other than that, my list pretty much is close to what ipsedixit and Ogawak have already stated...

                        1. re: J.L.

                          Persian Ice Cream is walking distance from my place. It is our to go place for ice cream. Last time we went I had a fig-cranberry that was outstanding. They are always asking you to try the cucumber (and to tell the truth, it sounded funny to me, but after I tried it, I loved it)

                        2. re: Ogawak

                          Wow, what a blast from the past hearing about Fentons, Piedmont Ave. in Oakland! Growing up in Piedmont in the 70s, Fentons was THE place for volume and fun! I never thought it was gourmet by any means, but those "Black & Tans", etc. were enough calcium sustenance for a week!! -JET

                          1. re: Jet

                            They go to Fenton's for ice cream at the end of Pixar's "UP".

                          2. re: Ogawak

                            Sketch no longer exists, and LA has equal/better places than Naia. In fact, I think Whole Foods' gelato is just as good, though the flavors are more pedestrian.

                            Berkeley is now known as the $1 scoop shop heaven, among students.

                            1. re: choctastic

                              Yeah, but have you tried Ici or Tara's?

                          3. I caught this on Eddie Lin's, "Deep End Dining" last year. I wouldn't consider it a classic in these parts, and it's on the outer periphery of ice cream - heck, I haven't even tried it, but I think kids would like it in a nauseatingly fun way.


                            1. The Gelato Bar and Espresso Cafe (yes, that's the name) in the Tujunga Village section of Studio City makes some really, really excellent gelato. It's owned by Nancy Silverton's sister Gail and her husband, Joel Gutman. They also have some of the best espresso in town.

                              Gelato Bar and Espresso Cafe
                              4342 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA 91604

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: GlenBlank

                                Gelato bar has amazing affogatos as well as a treat for you while the kids eat gelato. There is also one on Hillhurst in Los Feliz.

                                1. re: sku

                                  I didn't realize they were related. Another place to try out...

                              2. N'ice Cream on Abbot Kinney is pretty great. I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way for it, but I think it's the best in that area. Their salted caramel is to die for.


                                N'ice Cream
                                1410 Abbot Kinney Blvd Ste 200, Venice, CA 90291

                                1. imho, the Palazzo brand of gelato sold in the freezer section of gelsons, far outstrips all of the ice cream parlors i've tried, except for Delicieuse in redondo beach.
                                  the problem with Delicieuse, is that it is hardly open because most of their business centers around supplying other retailers/restaurants/grocers.

                                  2503 Artesia Blvd, Redondo Beach, CA 90278

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                    Which gelato places have you tried other than Delicieuse?

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      delicieuse wasn't gelato when i went there, it was ice cream.
                                      last night went to the place (name escapes me) near the third street promenade.
                                      often hit up the gelato bar at the gelson's in century city.
                                      since i do much of my grocery shopping at whole foods in el segundo, often get theirs too.

                                      although i enjoy all of these,
                                      i would really LOVE some plain, high-quality, organic, CHOCOLATE CHIP ice cream made with semi-sweet chocolate chips.
                                      the closest i've found is the Two Brothers mocha chip organic ice cream sold by Whole Foods. this still doesn't take the place of having a hand-scooped chocolate chip ice cream cone handed to you. . . . . . . .

                                      i know, i'm in the minority here, but Rite Aid ice cream, for some reason, doesn't do it for me any more.

                                      Rite Aid
                                      5575 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                                  2. Just wanted to update this to add that Carmela does good party catering, either with a little cart or with their new truck. I think the expense is pretty reasonable and kids especially get excited about the cart. Also, they now offer a very small cup if you have little people.

                                    1. Has anyone tried Mother Moo Creamery in Sierra Madre yet? They just opened this weekend


                                      1. I like Mikawaya's in Little Tokyo. They sell regular ice cream and gelato. My favorites are the green tea or red bean.

                                        118 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                                        Little Tokyo Restaurant
                                        150 E Bonita Ave, San Dimas, CA 91773