Where: Ice-Cream Lab
Location: 9461 South Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills
Welcome to the land of champagne wishes and caviar dreams! Ice-Cream Lab recently opened its doors just down the street from famed Sprinkles Cupcakes on Little (South) Santa Monica Boulevard in the 90210. Its shtick? Creating freshly-made organic ice cream to order using futuristic liquid nitrogen machines to freeze your treat right in front of you.
We headed down to Beverly Hills for the afternoon to walk around and check out the newest addition to the boulevard. I have to say that overall, the experience was just okay. I very much enjoyed their approach in using fresh ingredients, and the liquid nitrogen gimmick was cool…for about 5 minutes. While they all sounded yummy, I was not happy that essentially you’re limited to choosing from only 6 pre-designed lab creations. It seems in this day and age, the way to go is by offering customization in my humble opinion – especially, when it comes to ice cream. Didn’t anyone get the memo? At $5.00 for a small (5 ounce) and $7.00 for a large (7 ounce) cup of ice cream, it was a pricey treat – but this wasn’t a huge surprise.
I went with a small Blue Velvet ice cream: blue velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting (pictured above). It was a delicious way to spend 20 minutes on a Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, beyond the made to order gimmick, I wasn’t terribly impressed and didn’t have that “I’ll be back” feeling. Ice-Cream Lab is going to have to beef up their menu options and/or offer customization for its patrons. I’m not saying it was “never again” awful, but with Sprinkles just down the street, you’ll likely find me there. I not 100% sure Ice-Cream Lab has staying power.
PROS: Awesome location, hip decor, organic and fresh ingredients, serves Intelligentsia coffee.
CONS: Non-customization available, pricey (not surprising), not a lot of seating, and a very limited menu.