Author: Aralyn Beaumont
After seven prosperous years in Hollywood and a successful addition on the Westside two years ago, Scoops has made it east, bringing with it some culinary trendiness to add to the perpetual growth of the boutiquey York Boulevard.
The funky ice cream shop could once be called avant-garde, but now is one of many Los Angeles artisanal ice cream shops that experiments with flavor and leaves its décor minimalist and trendy. That is not to say that Scoops fails to impress or satiate.
The plethora of flavors available is exceptional, especially considering the rarity of flavors that lack creativity or charm. Scoops marries traditional flavors like Oreo and cheesecake or lemon and white chocolate, but also fuses seemingly unconventional tastes like mint—the herb, not the artificial essence—and caramel or goat cheese and lavender.
Even when Scoops ventures outside of the box with flavors like popcorn, it keeps on the artisanal ice cream trend with flavors like strawberry balsamic, dark chocolate sea salt or pairings with olive oil.
I personally could go to Scoops every day just to sample the novel flavors, but I know many people who cannot shake the Scoops’ staple: Brown Bread. Brown Bread is a rich ice cream with a deep flavor of brown butter, which is embellished with a crunch of the cereal Grape Nuts. I wish I could say that I have tasted the New England Brown Bread that prompted the popular flavor, so that I could compare the creamy sweet to the authentic inspiration, but I unfortunately am completely ignorant on the subject. Nevertheless, I too enjoy myself a scoop of Brown Bread every once in a while when I’m feeling a little less adventurous.
So when it comes to the flavors, Scoops reigns supreme compared to Pasadena’s Carmela and Glendale’s Mashti Malone’s. But I will rank its competitors higher for execution. The Scoops consistency is icy, less creamy and lacking in texture. I want some body to my ice cream, and I get that at Carmela, where the product is ever so creamy.
In fact, it is almost impossible to distinguish Scoops’ regular ice cream from their vegan options because the textures of both are quintessentially icy. Which should make the vegans, who miss their days of dietary freedom, happy to hear. But I, on the other hand, would prefer to taste and feel the dairy in which I am indulging.
At the end of the day, texture is a weak criticism of a place that consistently satisfies and inspires my culinary curiosities. I will sacrifice a little quality for excitement any day, especially when it comes to food.
Within walking distance of the Occidental campus and surrounded by the hip sites of Café de Leche and Ba Restaurant, Scoops adds to the growing prominence of the Highland Park and Eagle Rock areas, giving Occidental’s dictum (“The liberal arts school in the city”) a little bit more merit.
Scoops is located at 5105 York Blvd and open Monday-Saturday 2-9 pm.
Aralyn Beaumont is a featured food critic for the Occidental Weekly, to see more of her reviews visit her website, www.eatinglalayerbylayer.wordpress.com.
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