I’ve been on the wagon for a little over a month now. No Trader Joe’s peppermint Jo-Jos, no egg nog and certainly no Scoops ice cream. I decided to start this little dessert strike December 1st. In a cruel twist of fate, this was also the same day that Matt Kang opened his Scoops Westside shop.
That didn’t stop me from visiting the new Westside location of one of the best ice cream shops in L.A. After all, it’s in my hood, my blogger buds hang out there and Matt also sells Intelligentsia tea and coffee, pour-over and not from some automatic coffee machine.
Plus, here you can get the same Kenya Gichathaini for a dollar less than at Intelligentsia and you won’t have to stand in a long line of hipsters for it either.
Yet, every time I went into the shop, Matt would entice me with an empty gelato spoon, “You sure you don’t even want a taste?” One time, after I declined his offer yet again, he dipped the small spoon into the salted caramel ice cream, put it in his mouth and withdrew it with an “Mmmm!” Yeah, so mean, but I managed to resist temptation.
We then made a deal. I’d end my dessert strike at Scoops Westside. “Which flavor would you like?” he asked me. And instantly I knew, “wasabi/coconut,” a flavor I first fell in love with back when I had visited the eastside location for the craft beer week preview. Oddly enough, this flavor isn’t exactly popular so Matt would have to special order it from Tai Kim, the “Thomas Keller of ice cream” and owner of the original Scoops.
I guess not many people can appreciate this beautiful, exotic mixture of flavors. The coconut sweetens and soothes the burn incited by the wasabi. Would be just perfect after a spicy Thai lunch.
Matt had the ice cream ready for me yesterday so even though I’m suffering from an irritating cold, I still made a point to swing by and pick up a pint, courtesy of Matt. But instead of just the original duo, Tai had thrown in some white chocolate. At the store, I tentatively tasted the new flavor combination. I usually hate white chocolate. And here it just seemed to mute the wasabi heat. But Matt assured me that after continual consumption the burn would become apparent. Cool! I enjoy a slow burn.
Sure enough, the more I ate, the more spiciness unfolded. Now, this, I could eat a whole pint of. If you’re intrigued, better grab yourself a scoop of this good stuff now before it disappears this week since there’s no telling when it’ll return.
…this is good ol’ ice cream, that old fashioned treat of Haagen Daas and Baskin-Robbins fame, but with a new twist – more innovative flavors and a bit of a lighter composition.
By the way, if you have some crazy ice cream flavor combos of your own swimming around in your feverish foodie dreams, Matt’s store has the same “Flavors to Suggest” board that the original location has. On there you’ll find the scribblings of mad men and food enthusiasts. “Foie gras and cherry”? “Habanero pistachio”? Wuut?
Tai will visit the board once a week and ponder the suggestions. Some will inspire him, while others will be dismissed. For example, he wouldn’t ever do a foie gras ice cream again as it’s too controversial. As for what I’d suggest? I’m curious what bourbon and ginger would taste like.