We All Scream For Ice Cream

Salt&Straw_Header_ATG FINAL{Feast your eyes on Chocolate Gooey Brownie ice cream.}


Where: Salt & Straw
Location: 240 North Larchmont Boulevard, Larchmont Village
Cost: $$


Just a few doors down the street from “The (over-hyped) Best Iced Latte in America,” rests one of the newest additions to Larchmont Boulevard, and it’s quickly becoming the ice cream spot in town. It’s not unusual to see the line hanging out the door into the wee hours of the night; as Angelenos happily fork over their hard-earned money for a slightly expensive, yet decadent, brain freeze.

Salt & Straw Exterior _ATG FINAL

Originating in The Beaver State (that’s Oregon, if you didn’t catch my attempt to be clever), Salt & Straw aims to take a beloved American indulgence to a new level. You might be asking, how does one do that exactly? If you think about it, unlike certain treats, ice cream couldn’t be a more accessible delicacy. If you’re in dire straits in the middle of the night to deal with a crappy day by drowning your sorrows in a tub of ice cream, a trip to your neighborhood grocery store happens to also have the added benefit of welcoming you with more options than you’ll ever need. And yet, I can see why scoop shops, like Salt & Straw or Sprinkles Ice Cream, might withstand the test of time…and the abundance of accessibility.

In a nutshell, it’s because when heading to specialty places such as these it’s in “the event” of it all. It’s in the getting in the car with a destination in mind. It’s in the anticipation of a rewarding treat. It’s in the gazing at the menu, deciding what you want. It’s in the tasting of the samples. It’s in the ambiance. But ultimately, it’s in the product itself – usually served with the freshest of ingredients and thoughtful presentation.

Suffice to say then, that Salt & Straw makes ice cream an event.

Salt&Straw_Exterior_Interior_ATG FINAL{Exterior/Interior seating areas.}

On a dreary, late Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago, we paid a visit to see what The Beaver State famously had years before us Angelenos, a Salt & Straw. With much luck, and I’m sure fortuitous timing (everyone was likely at the mall finishing up some last-minute Christmas shopping), we found the place nearly deserted. In fact, we were in and out in a matter of minutes, thanks to no line!

What immediately feels distinct about Salt & Straw, compared to your more typical scoop shops, was the easy and inviting ambiance. This was achieved through carved wood; and warm, moody lighting. The space isn’t very big, and there isn’t much seating; but for the short time you’re inside, it certainly leaves an impression.

Salt & Straw_Interior_Counter_ATG FINAL{Interior/counter.}

For just over $4.00, I walked out of Salt & Straw’s welcoming shop with a scoop of Chocolate Gooey Brownie ice cream (pictured above) in hand. While the price is reasonable if you’re headed in for a solo treat for yourself, or on a date, it can certainly add up if dad decides to take a family of four out for ice cream and everyone wants a double scoop.

That being said, one spoonful was literally all it took. As the ice cream hit my tongue, I could taste the love that went into every aspect of it. It wasn’t until I got home and did a little research, that I realized the detail put into what ultimately, might come across as a simple scoop of ice cream. Turns out, the chocolate used in its base is from organic Holy Kakow Chocolate products, and the brownies are baked fresh, infused with marshmallows to give them a special fluff…and this dedication to quality is before they’ve even churned it together to make the final product!

Salt & Straw is regarded for their use of locally sourced, fresh ingredients; but also for their eclectic flavors. Admittedly, I went with a safe flavor for my inaugural visit, but take two will find me bolder to try some of their more creative options: Avocado & Strawberry Sherbet or Ojai Olive Oil & Burnt Orange Marmalade. Then again, I can get behind their Central Coast Champagne Sorbet, too.

They keep their popular permanent “classic” flavors on-hand at all times. The great news is that they’re also constantly rotating their selection, introducing new flavors every month to keep the menu fresh; and to keep Angelenos coming back, forking over their hard-earned money for a slightly expensive, yet decadent, brain freeze.

And this, my friends, is how you beat ice cream accessibility. It’s the big “event” taking place in Larchmont Village at the moment.

Well played, Salt & Straw. Well played.

Salt&Straw_IceCreamcase_ATG FINAL{Order your favorites to-go by the pint!}

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What I’m Lovin’ Right Now

Blend

  1. Face mapping to determine what’s happening. How the location of a blemish tells you what may be going awry inside. Full article here.
  2. TESLA – Natural crystal quartz geometric hexagon pendant edged in gold from ArrowandEra.
  3. Oprah.com’s 11 Sunday Gloom Breakers.
  4. How To Winged Eye Liner Tutorial.
  5. Furbish Studio’s Penelope Lamp.
  6. Red velvet ice cream eye candy. Yum!
  7. Bear Traps Roma Booties.

Highlights

I’ve been in a strange mood all week that I just haven’t been able to shake. I get this way when I know it’s time to make a change in some area of my life or I need to shift some my energies around. I’m definitely that person who likes to chill out, but I would say I also need a steady stream of stimulation as much as possible because I get bored so easily! So perhaps I’m having a terrible case of simple boredom this week!?! Unfortunately, I don’t think that this is what’s ultimately causing my bizarre mood. It seems to be a mixture of things.

What I do think is attributing to my mood is, ironically, a blog post that I have been working on for almost a week now that I’ve been having the hardest time writing. Part of my site focuses heavily on the art of cinema because it’s my greatest passion; absorbing another world, another narrative, creatively. I saw Fruitvale Station last week and was so upset by what I saw, that it took me a few days to wrap my head around what I experienced as a viewer to be able to formulate my thoughts before I even began writing my film review.

I’ve struggled all week to articulate what I saw and how I felt and I think it’s because I’m placing too much pressure on myself to get it just right given the controversial series of events about what happened. I’m very conscious of what I put out into the universe on my site. I want what I say to be clear, well-written, but even more importantly, something that I feel proud enough to share knowing that I’ve presented a thoughtful position that I back 100%. I want to honor my opinion, yet remain respectful. Writing film reviews is not usually this challenging for me, though they are by far the posts that take days to write. I think part of my anxiety is also the social and racial climate going on this country right now in light of the Trayvon Martin case and realizing that Fruitvale happened not that long ago; and while a different case altogether, an argument for how our justice system is failing people can be made.

I’m nearly done with my review of Fruitvale Station and look forward to sharing it with you next week. In the meantime, I encourage you to see it. It’s a memorable film that reminds us that you never know when your last day will be or why.

Despite my strange mood, this week had some amazing highlights and as I reflect on them, I can feel my spirits shifting. A trip to the Natural History Museum to check out the new Becoming LA exhibit (post to come!) and attending the LA premiere of the new Woody Allen film, Blue Jasmine among them. I’d bet big money on a best actress Oscar nod for Cate Blanchett. She nailed that performance! It opens in New York and LA today. Go see it and then go see Fruitvale Station.

Have a great weekend! xx

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{A visit to the Gem Vault while at the Natural History Museum. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend!}

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{A stop at Ben & Jerry’s on National Ice Cream Day.}

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{Attending the LA premiere of Blue Jasmine! Two thumbs up :)}

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Sprinkles Ice Cream

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Where: Sprinkles Ice Cream

Location: 9631 South Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills

It’s the battle of the ice cream gods and I, for one, love some healthy competition! Not too long ago, I made the small trek over to the 90210 to check out the Ice Cream Lab, the newest addition to the South Santa Monica Boulevard family. This futuristic inspired ice cream parlor had the balls courage to open its doors down the street from the famed Sprinkles Cupcakes empire, that also opened a counterpart ice cream shop next door last spring. What better excuse to add a little ice cream to my beloved Sprinkles cupcake this time around to compare and contrast who does it best when it comes to a proper brain freeze? (The things I do in the name of blogging!)

Hands down, Sprinkles Ice Cream blows the Ice Cream Lab out of the water!

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While the Ice Cream Lab relies on the unique power to instantly create your frozen treat using liquid nitrogen machines right in front of you;  ultimately, it’s the limitations in their menu that weaken their panache for me. Sprinkles does what I think always works best: keep it simple, and keep it customizable. Not only do you have a large selection of ice cream flavors to choose from, your frosty delicacy is served in a myriad of ways: in a red velvet waffle cone, as a sundae, between cupcake tops or cookies for a sandwich, or just keep it basic and in a cup with toppings galore. Bonus points in my book for the option to also create a milkshake, malt, or even a float if the mood strikes you. The fun with Sprinkles Ice Cream is that the options are endless.

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On this particular Saturday afternoon visit, I stopped into the two-tone red and white parlor and indulged in a Sprinkles sundae (first pictured above for your viewing pleasure). It’s a scoop of ice cream with one cupcake of your choice. I had to go with their famous red velvet cupcake and the vanilla bean ice cream. The taste and texture of the slow churned ice cream with the moist fluffy cake covered with thick frosting was pure heaven (and yes, I was on a sugar high for the next three hours).

Admittedly, it’s a pricey treat, but one that I am a-okay to give in to occasionally.  It’s no secret that I am a fan of Sprinkles cupcakes and when paired together with their fresh gourmet ice cream…there are no words. Summer is in 3 days gang – and I plan to spend a few of them with a quick stop here after hitting the gym twice a day, of course! (yeah right). Hope to see you there! xx

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