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Apr 27, 2012 04:52 AM

Best gourmet ice cream and patisserie?

Going to be in LA for two weeks. Searching for some amazing ice cream and pastries...

Suggestions please :)


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  1. Threef no brainers...Sweet Rose Creamery and Huckleberry...both in Santa Monica (both from the same owners) and close by, Amandine.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      I agree with Servong....

      All the way.

      1. re: latindancer

        +2 with Servorg especially Sweet Rose. (and heard they have future plans to open a second store in the West Hollywood area).

        1. re: wienermobile

          So many people are raving about Sweet Rose, I'm there!

          Thanks for the tip!

          Keith Gilabert

          1. re: Keith Gilabert

            I'm a huge fan of their Salted Caramel and fight traffic to get the stuff and bring it home in pint containers.
            The other day, while there, I witnessed a grown man having a 2 yr. old tantrum because they were out of his precious Peanut Butter Brownie...apparently it goes fast and he hadn't made it there in time.
            I'd be interested to know what it tastes like given the show he was putting on.

            1. re: latindancer

              That peanut butter brownie is really delicious. I like it with a scoop of their fresh banana. Great combination.

              1. re: maudies5

                Yum :).

                I just knew it had to something special after hearing this guy almost cry.
                Can't wait to try it.

              2. re: latindancer

                That is so funny. I know a certain 50-year old who has had similar tantrums :-)

                1. re: running pig

                  Yeah....that's just about this guy's age :).

        2. re: Servorg

          Sweet rose...first thing that came to mind

        3. If you like gelato, I like Grom in malibu and Carmela at the Hollywood's farmer's mkt or Pasadena for their great salted caramel ice cream.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mrsjoujou

            Grom in Malibu is the real deal from Italy with all natural ingredients. They have stores in Rome Florence, New York and Paris. Great flavors,

            1. re: wienermobile

              It would almost be cheaper to book a flight in coach and fly to Rome to eat gelato than to buy it at Grom in Malibu. Maybe its reasonably priced if you just scored a $20mm movie deal or have a trust fund, but for those mortals among us struggling to survive on less than a seven or eight figure income, the prices are staggering.

          2. Some great suggestions here. Here are some not yet mentioned and worth trying.

            For gelato, Bulgarini in Altadena and in Culver City at the Teaforest Teahouse. Pistachio, goatmilk and any seasonal flavors.

            Also gelato, Scoops for the most interesting ice cream flavors you'll ever enjoy. Hollywood and Culver City. Brown bread is a regular favorite, but the flavor offerings change dramatically. Be open to the wild choices here.

            Milk on Melrose for great sundaes and shakes.

            Handels in Redondo Beach and Upland for the best ice cream flavors. And they always have a lot on hand. Try some of the cream pie flavors, like banana.

            I'm not that impressed with the flavor offerings at Sweet Rose Creamery. I much prefer Carmela's in Altadena, especially the salted caramel.

            Persian ice cream here really rocks. Saffron & Rose in Westwood and Mashti Malone in Hollywood are both terrific.

            Fosselman's is a long time institution here, with some detractors, but worth a visit.

            For something different, Paradis is a Danish gelato chain in Glendale and Long Beach. It's a lighter gelato than the Italian version.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Ogawak

              Fosselman's is good oldfashioned ice cream, period, the only difference being that the ice creams of my (very distant) youth did not include such flavors as taro or ubu. If their ice cream has a flaw, it's that the butterfat content is so high as to mute some of the more aromatic flavors; the peach is less peachy than it would be, I think, if they dialed back on the fat a bit, and the lemon custard could be tangier.

              1. re: Will Owen

                I have to agree with Will on the butterfat content. This is old-time ice cream at its best, but the BF does diminish some of the flavor profile. Personally, I get the warm-fuzzies as the butterfat clings to every surface of my mouth. It's the reason I learned to eat ice cream with a glass of ice water in hand.

                No one in SoCal has richer ice cream than Fosselman's. Period.

                Thrifty Ice Cream, made right here off Rosemead Bl and the 10 Freeway, makes the best commercially available ice creams. Available at Rite-Aid drug stores (formerly Thrifty) and discriminating vendors and restaurants (though probably not by name).

                1. re: martitap

                  Tried Fossellmans for the second time last night (but first in years), and I cannot figure out why anyone would rate this place.

                  Perhaps I've been spoiled too much by Scoops, Sweet Rose, the old Deliceuse, Jeni's, HS, and my wife's incredible concoctions, but that ice cream at Fosselmans was absolute, bog-standard, boringly bad ice cream.

                  Why waste the calories?

              2. re: Ogawak

                Safron and Rose is fantastic and the owners are really nice. They really encourage you to try multiple flavors and are very enthusiastic about their product. Mashti Malone in Hollywood is a dirty pit in an old depressing mini-mall and the owner is surly.

                For pastries, try Copenhagen in Culver City.

                1. re: jgilbert1000

                  Safron and Rose is great.

                  Al Gelato on Robertson south of Wilshire on the east side is great too.

              3. Mother Moo for ice cream (yes, over Carmela/Sweet Rose, ad nausea. They're using McGrath's strawberries right now. Last year, they used Harry's Berries, in Straus ice cream base... No one's going to that kind of extremes in LA), Bulgarini (now that Deliceuse is gone) for gelato.

                Proof & Semi Sweet Bakery for pastries.

                In case you're not all about the Westside...

                62 Replies
                1. re: TonyC

                  second Mother Moo's. their ingredients are above and beyond what i would even buy. they currently have a cafe au lait flavor ice cream and roasting their own coffee beans!

                  1. re: TonyC

                    i love 3 of the recs (Mother Moo, Bulgarini, and Semi-Sweet), which makes me think that I need to check out Proof.

                    1. re: andytseng

                      Don't forget to pair Proof with a cortado from Cognescenti. It'll make you quit capps.

                    2. re: TonyC

                      Another one for Mother Moo's here-loving the cornflakes and cream flavor. Carmela is not too far away if you want to make it a day full of ice cream.

                      A short walk from Mother Moo's is the Wildflour Baking Company and there's Europane Bakery (2 locations in Pasadena) for your pastry fix.

                      1. re: crystaw

                        If I HAD to hit up that corner of "SGV", I much prefer Lucky Baldwin's after (or.. before?) Mother Moo's..

                        Europane's so far far behind Proof though. Both Asian-operated Western bakeries, but... Europane's boring, Proof is not.

                        1. re: TonyC

                          Whoa, after all these years of following your lead mostly around the SGV (and beyond) we finally disagree! I have been lovin EuroPane since the eighties and still do. Ms. Chang is a master baker and her product still shows that quality!
                          I've been lovin Proof and Cognesenti sp? for just a couple of months. Both good and both worth a trip!!!

                          1. re: sel

                            I haven't tried Proof but from my perspective, I think places like Euro Pane were the Pioneers of artisan baking. If it weren't for places like Euro Pane, artisan baking might not have taken a foothold in LA until much later. With that said, I've been curious about Proof ever since Ipsedixit gave them a thumbs-up months back. I'm rarely out in Atwater Village area - any other places that would make a nice pairing with Proof?

                            1. re: bulavinaka

                              Village Bakery next street up if you want to carb it up one day, maybe Canele across the street for brunch?

                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                Proof Bakery is worth the trip if you don't mind wading through the hipsters with their MacBooks and iphones etc. The pop-up coffee place inside Proof, whose spelling I murdered earlier, serves about the best pour over and espresso south of San Francisco.

                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                  I think the only proper thing to do is:
                                  Go on a Sunday, get BBQ from Big Mistas at the Farmer's Market for lunch, afterwards, kick it at Proof Bakery. I can't deal with the masses at Proof/FM too early in the morning.

                                  The Proof / Cognoscenti combination is very hard to beat in LA, especially on the Eastside. There's Short Order/Short Cake, but I can't think of anyone else doing both pastry / coffee program at such level. Chimney Coffee House has both an in-house pastry chef and caring espresso folks, but the execution is a bit off.

                                  Spring for Coffee at MF Gourmet was an extremely convincing combination: ( ) but no one visited the Grand Central Market for cortados, and SfC pulled out of MFG after only 1 month. I was very saddened.

                                  sel: disagreement is the fodder of life. =)

                                  1. re: TonyC

                                    I stopped by Proof by chance this morning and wow! what a great place. i dropped my mom off at her dentist today right near Atwater so i stopped by for an iced coffee. i should have gotten a slice of layer cake but it just felt too decadent at 10:30am after a big breakfast. instead opted for the croissant which was perfect. flaky crunchy buttery layers and the outer crust tasted of caramel from the browning. i can say one of the best croissants i've had in a while.

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        They'd better :).

                                        I'm going to there today, just to check these out, and they'd better be better than the ones I got @ Bouchon a few days ago.
                                        They each had about a dime size chunk of chocolate in the middle.

                                        1. re: latindancer

                                          i imagine Bouchon's croissants to be amazing and be neck to neck with Proof. Croissants were 'ruined' for me since my last days in SF, Tartine opened up shop right across the street from my apt. since then I haven't had a worthy croissant but the one at Proof is certainly a contender.

                                          1. re: trolley

                                            <I imagine Bouchon's croissants to be amazing and be neck to neck with Proof>

                                            From my experience, in the BH location, unfortunately they're not.
                                            I will never, now, go anywhere other than Proof. There's just no comparison.

                                          2. re: latindancer

                                            As great as the croissants may be, Proof's savories are more compelling (for me). The "strata", the chive/gruyere biscuit & the quiches, despite the fact they don't pair well w/ the CogCoffee, is even tastier than the morning rolls/lemon bars, etc.:

                                            1. re: TonyC

                                              Along with my croissants & Four Barrel, I purchased their bacon, blue cheese & tomato jam on Italian stick bread sandwich. The bread, alone, was remarkable. Was it baked and then rubbed with olive oil and sea salt?...and the combination of the high quality/prepared to perfection bacon, roasted tomato jam and bleu cheese was quite spectacular.
                                              I have no doubt, based on what I saw and what I tasted that everything behind those class cases is top notch, or higher, in quality and taste.

                                          3. re: ipsedixit

                                            <Proof has the best chocolate croissants...>

                                            Insanely delicious. Thank the gods and CH and you for this wonderful find. There is a big difference between a 'great' croissant in LA and a croissant like this. As I said before...Bouchon's had this little tiny chunk of chocolate hidden in the pocket....not memorable. Proof's appears to have layered it along with the butter....every single bite has a major dose of very high quality deep, rich, dark chocolate in one of the most delicious, buttery and flaky croissants I have ever tasted. Along with it I had one of the best cappuccinos I've had in a long time. Four barrel....omg fabulous. Thank you....I'd drive twice the distance I just did for this place, and will again tomorrow, most likely :).

                                            1. re: latindancer


                                              I'm glad you enjoyed them.

                              2. re: TonyC

                                Straus cream makes Mother Moo a must try for next time I'm in the area.

                                1. re: TonyC

                                  Absolutely, Mother Moo's. Ice cream is terrific and the owner is a sweetie.

                                  1. re: TonyC

                                    ROFL - Are you seriously complaining about using McGrath's berries, which are delicious and certified organic. Harry's Berries grows some tasty berries but not certified organic which puts them way down on the list.

                                    I like Carmela and Sweet Rose both and Milk (not organic) for classic flavors like strawberry sorbet and chocolate.

                                    Cool Haus has a new storefront in Culver City but I haven't been.

                                    For sweets, Clementine is quite good as is Bouchon Bakery.

                                    Amandine is not worth an out of town visit.

                                    1. re: JudiAU

                                      Clarification: I was NOT complaining about McGrath's berries. Just pointing out the fact that Mother Moo's ingredient sources are cray. Like "trolley" said, they're using better stuff in ice cream than what I even buy sometimes as "regular" food.

                                      As far as Harry's vs. McGrath's... True, but that doesn't make Harry's less tasty. I remember when Karen Klemens told me she bought all those Harry's. I'd just bought some, and they were probably the baddest berries I had last year. It made an impression. That's all.

                                      1. re: TonyC

                                        TonyC, i like how my name is in quotes "trolley" as if that's not my name! :D

                                        mcgraths seems to only grow seascape strawberries and i find the tartness of this variety a perfect compliment to the sweetness of the cream. i know harry's also grows a seascape variety as well but their gaviotas are the reason why i rush to the market and try to make it before they sell out.

                                        1. re: TonyC

                                          Ooh,,,,I had some of Mother Moo's rum raisin this weekend....simply outstanding.

                                          1. re: running pig

                                            Just hit up both Mother Moo's and Carmela since they are pretty close to each other. Grab some vanilla at Mother Moo's and Strawberry Buttermilk at Carmela.

                                            1. re: A5 KOBE

                                              Can't find a location for Mother Moo's. Nor a website? Address please :)

                                              1. re: luna9

                                                You can't find a website for Mother Moo?

                                                Sometimes the most obvious things are the hardest to find -->

                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  Ugh. I saw that website. But I thought Sierra Madre CA that's not LA?! I should have looked on google maps first. But I still would have thought there must be a closer location I am missing. Thanks!

                                                  1. re: luna9

                                                    How is that not LA?

                                                    This board is defined as the "Greater Los Angeles Area." 'Natch.

                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                      I am not from Los Angeles nor do I even live in the area or even on the West Coast... There you have it!

                                                      1. re: luna9

                                                        You don't need to be from Los Angeles (or even live here) to look at the main page of the CH LA board to find this description of the area that this board covers:

                                                        "Tips for Dining, Eating, and Food Shopping in the Greater Los Angeles Area (including Orange & Ventura Counties and SW San Bernardino County)"

                                                    2. re: luna9

                                                      To be fair, Sierra Madre is hellacious "far" from most of everything, save those who live in Pasadena...

                                                      But yah, sometimes, Google (maps) may help one outta towners find ice cream, as well as newly immigrated find Chicago beer.

                                          2. re: JudiAU

                                            re: cool haus in culver city.
                                            tried them once, but, i'm a chocolate-lover.
                                            far too few flavors with chocolate, imho.
                                            the fig/balsamic/marscapone flavor was good, but i really was looking for a chocolate knock-out which was nowhere in the building. . . .

                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                              >>tried them once, but, i'm a chocolate-lover.<<

                                              One of these ice cream makers needs to formulate a chocolate ice cream w/ Old Rasputin marbling...

                                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                                when they do, i will be eating it daily.

                                            2. re: JudiAU

                                              >>Harry's Berries grows some tasty berries but not certified organic which puts them way down on the list.<<

                                              Way down on what list? I've never been out to Harry's with some news team to investigate their field practices, but many farmers are in the same boat as Harry's when it comes to practicing organics vs. being certified.


                                              "We farm using only organic practices, though we are not certified due to the costs and paperwork involved. We have not used methyl bromide fumigation or any other synthetic chemicals since 1998."

                                              Russ Parsons wrote an story on the issue of organics a few years ago - I consider it to be a bellwether on the general perception of organic farming.


                                              Not looking to stir a hornet's nest here, but why so harsh ROFL?

                                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                                bulavinaka- I saw your post about my comments on the other board and traced it back to here.

                                                Yes, I remember Russ Parson's article about Harry's. We just disagree, he and I. I do value certified organic value and I particularly distrust the "halo" effect whereby other growers claim similiar techniques but don't "bother" with certification practice. Frankly, I'd rather buy "no spray" which is just as meaningless.

                                                I've been working in the real and organic foods movement for a long time and frankly, the paperwork and cost associated with it are pretty minor for a farm with a small number of crops. I think they don't become certified organic because they choose not to follow the letter of the law or because they are thumbing their nose at the system, enjoying the halo effect, and still charging a dollar more per basket for their berries than farmer's who do comply with the law. I don't really care why. That's fine. Lots of people will choose to buy their berries, which are tasty.

                                                But for me, my dollars support my values. When I buy a premium-priced product I want a premium product in *all* the ways I value.

                                                1. re: JudiAU

                                                  Fair enough. And I hope you realize that I didn't post your name or this thread. As I've said above - I'm not looking to stir a hornet's nest. I was just surprised by how your statement seemed to imply that Harry's wasn't worthy for the given reasons. Thanks

                                                  1. re: JudiAU

                                                    "I think they don't become certified organic because they choose not to follow the letter of the law or because they are thumbing their nose at the system, enjoying the halo effect, and still charging a dollar more per basket for their berries than farmer's who do comply with the law."

                                                    i never really thought about it in these terms and i have to agree with you. at $6 a basket and $17 for 3 you better be certified. the berries are delicious (as i eat a bowl of Harry's) but i'm always skeptical of people who claim 'No spray' too. what the heck does that mean anyway? another organic farmer told me if they can't drink the run off water from framing then you shouldn't be eating their crops either.

                                                    How much does it really cost to get certified anyway? Thanks for shedding light on this issue.

                                                2. re: JudiAU

                                                  "Amandine is not worth an out of town visit"

                                                  It's not? Curious as to why you'd say that. I find the pastries, food and service pretty noteworthy.

                                                  1. re: latindancer

                                                    i think this depends on where you're visiting from...when i was an out of town visitor from SF i was surrounded by Tartine and Citizen cake but a bakery like Amandine didn't exist or at least i wasn't aware of one. i craved the light cakes and the delicate flavors that i grew up with in Japan that i found at Amandine. if you're coming from Asia or NY then Amandine may be dime a dozen...

                                                    1. re: trolley

                                                      Chantilly in Lomita and Bonjour in Gardena are in the same vein. But given the general intent of this thread, I think all do belong here and one's perspective will determine where to try?

                                                      1. re: trolley

                                                        Thanks for the reply.

                                                        The OP's asking for 'ice cream and pastries'. We don't know what region they'll be traveling from and we don't know what they're personal standard is....
                                                        Amandine, given the consistently noteworthy reviews on CH, seems to deserve a little more respect than, "Amandine is not worth an out of town visit".
                                                        In my opinion, of course.

                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                          It'd bug me all day if I didn't change it.

                                                          1. re: latindancer

                                                            My wife goes to Amandine regularly - she often brings along non-out-of-towners. The overwhelming consensus is very positive.

                                                            I think the general trend for many is to shrug off those places, like Amandine and Euro Pane, in favor of the new places that have benefited from those mentioned who planted the seed of a much higher standard long before them.

                                                            1. re: bulavinaka

                                                              "My wife goes to Amandine regularly - she often brings along non-out-of towers. The overwhelming consensus is very positive."

                                                              This has always been my feeling also. I like Amandine for many reasons and it's always on my list when thinking about places to meet a friend or take a visitor from out of town. It's just one of those places that I can always count on for consistently good coffee, pastry, breakfast or lunch. The service has always been impeccable.
                                                              Places come and go in this town, for whatever reason, but i believe Amandine will be a favorite for locals and those willing to drive a few extra miles for what it has to offer.

                                                        2. re: latindancer

                                                          Amandine is nice enough but I wouldn't drive across the city to go there. I've gone there several times to see why it is much-loved on these boards but never been rewarded without anything spectacular. And I particularly don't like their monstrous croissants.

                                                          LA is bakery-poor and I think most majors cities have more and better bakeries of note.

                                                          1. re: JudiAU

                                                            >>LA is bakery-poor and I think most majors cities have more and better bakeries of note.<<

                                                            And when one considers how many new ones with a higher focus have opened up over the past few years, we're still lean. I'm optimistic though.

                                                            1. re: bulavinaka

                                                              Anyone who says this apparently has overlooked Porto's -- originally in Glendale, now with locations in Downey (spectacular) and Burbank. Their rich Cuban heritage emerges in every pastry, bread, cake, and other baked goods. For those looking for authentic "galletas" -- Porto's is the place, at just $2.05 per bag.

                                                              No finer bakeries with depth and diversity of product exist in the greater LA area. It's worth the travel time from wherever you may live or work. The long lines for bakery products are a testament to the quality.

                                                              And while some might think the whole cakes are pricey, there are plenty of small-time bakeries that sell less for much more (like Amy's in Montebello).

                                                              Each of the Porto's locations has a cafe with a similarly diverse menu, and showcasing their Cuban sandwiches.

                                                              1. re: martitap

                                                                IMHO, you should travel to othee cities that have a rep for great food - SFO, cities in Japan et al immediately come to mind as being deep with bakeries and ice cream. L.A. has a lot of catching up to do still. Porto's may be deep in selection, but quality? I'll just say that the quality/price ratio is okay.

                                                                1. re: martitap

                                                                  Amy's and Porto's don't belong in a thread with both "best" and "gourmet" in the title.

                                                                  1. re: martitap

                                                                    respectfully disagree with your view of Portos.
                                                                    imho, not worth the calories nor the gasoline involved.
                                                                    i know that, in this regard, i am in the minority on this board

                                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                                      i stand with you. portos is ok at best. the sandwiches are bad.

                                                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                                                        This minority group keeps growing. I'm in too.

                                                                  2. re: JudiAU

                                                                    "Amandine is nice enough..."

                                                                    I moved from a city who's known for having either a Scandanavian or French or Italian Bakery on every other block and they're all pretty stellar, at that. Same goes for coffee.
                                                                    I can honestly say, after living in LA for the past nearly 20 years, that I've grown to appreciate what we have here, given what I was used to.
                                                                    LA is very spread out. I find myself going to different bakeries for different things...
                                                                    La Maison du pain for the cinnamon rolls and a variety of other items she does well.
                                                                    Bouchon for the Kouign amann.
                                                                    Euro Pann for lemon bars % egg salad.
                                                                    Amandine for Gateau Banane
                                                                    Breadbar for bread
                                                                    Proof...a very recent discovery for the chocolate croissant & other things in that case I'm discovering, slowly.
                                                                    LA is not as 'bakery poor' as it used to be and those people I know, who come from cities that are NOT bakery poor, appreciate Amandine.

                                                                2. re: JudiAU

                                                                  Wanted to add Breadbar for small, lovely croissants and pain au chocolate. Really quite superior, especially in the smaller size. Excellent bread.

                                                                  Also Beachy Cream ice cream sandwiches.

                                                                3. re: TonyC

                                                                  Best Brownies ever at Mother Moo's. She doesn't always make them, but when she does they go fast.

                                                                  1. re: linray

                                                                    Thanks for that. I haven't made it there in ages, but I see she's stepped up her pastry game with pies, galettes, etc., as well as soup!

                                                                    I wish they were closer to a freeway that is NOT the 210.

                                                                    1. re: TonyC

                                                                      That's very interesting.

                                                                      There was this place in SF called Sketch ice cream and they had exceptional hand-crafted ice cream as well as chocolate pudding cakes which were not always on offer.

                                                                      Those were exceptional.

                                                                    2. re: linray

                                                                      have you ever tried their pies and fruit crisps? AMAZING! and top it off with ice cream and it's a win win for all.

                                                                      1. re: trolley

                                                                        No, but my son had the fruit crisp last week and he loved it.

                                                                  2. For pastries

                                                                    Huckleberry is a very good choice.

                                                                    Also the Farm Shop in Santa Monica

                                                                    Pain Du Jour, also in Santa Monica

                                                                    Sweet Lady Jane in West Hollywood and Santa Monica.