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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Champagne Wishes, Caviar Dreams and Blue Velvet Ice Cream

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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.

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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.

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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.

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