I’m pretty excited to have recently tried some of the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten–and so far, there is nothing to rival it in the San Fernando Valley (okay, perhaps I’m just a little bit thrilled that there’s a new frozen dessert brand that isn’t yogurt). I’ve also never taken so long deciding what to order because everything looked so appealing. Fortunately, the servers were generous with tastes and you can order half scoops for a “two in one scoop.”
The place is LA Creamery which opened in late November 2010 at Westfield Topanga in Canoga Park and is now gearing up to open at The Americana at Brand in Glendale on April 12 and Westfield Sherman Oaks on April 30.
Top Chef: Just Desserts finalist Danielle Keene is the corporate pastry chef and creates the ice cream and sorbet, as well as baked goods, cones, sauces and toppings from scratch. The ice cream is all made in small artisan batches on site at the Canoga Park store. There are no preservatives, hormones or antibiotics, and nothing artificial in any of the products. They use Straus Family Farms organic dairy to create their ice creams. Sorbets and popsicles are made from fruit sourced from local farms and orchards. Keene also makes the rounds at local farmers markets to buy fresh fruit and ingredients.
There are 18 to 24 flavors available daily. The menu is always changing, but here’s an idea of what they’ve scooped out over the past two weeks: Jack Daniels made with real Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey, Roasted Banana, Honey Lavender, Honeycomb, Milk Chocolate Crunch, Spicy Chocolate, Creme Brulee, Salted Chocolate, Toasted Coconut, Chai Tea, Pistachio Rose, Almond Cherry, Saffron Vanilla , Goat Cheese and Currant, Rice Pudding and German Chocolate cake ice cream with chocolate cake pieces and coconut pecan frosting swirled in. Over New Years, they had Dom Peringnon. The sky is pretty much the limit, but if your taste runs to basic flavors, no worries, they have those too.
Order by the scoop (in a cup or a delicious fresh waffle cone) or have a sundae creation with brownies, bananas or berries or make your own. Shakes, floats and malts are available with all flavors. Floats are mixed with select artisan sodas. Toppings and sauces are made on site and include salted caramel, marshmallow kisses, berry compote, milk chocolate-kahlua and more.
LA Creamery also offers novelty items, such as Ice Cream Sandwiches, Bon Bons, Fresh Fruit Popsicles and Valharona Fudge Popsicles. There are also daily selections of individual ice cream cakes and mini-pies. You can order larger sizes and specialty cakes, so just call and ask.
Starting April 15, Peets Coffee and Tea will partner in the stores with concessions offering their full cold and hot beverage menu. Add personal service to the list, with an order of four pints or more, LA Creamery will deliver for free within three miles and for $5 within a five mile radius.
The creation of LA Creamery was really as natural as the ice cream itself. In May 2010, Nancy Saltzman, who owns Valet Girls with her husband, Brad, was searching for organic ice cream for her young children, but was always disappointed with the taste. She mentioned it to their friend Stephen Bikoff who then jumped on the comment and said they should make their own and open an artisan ice cream parlor.
Nearly one year later, they’ll have three stores by the end of April across the 818 with an eye on Calabasas or Westlake Village for their fourth. Earlier this month, Joan’s on Third in Los Angeles started carrying packed pints, and the latest news, is that Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica will be making ice cream sandwiches with their ice cream and One Pico, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, will use the ice cream and sorbets on their menu. Don’t be surprised if you see LA Creamery in your supermarket’s frozen section soon.
However, despite the fast growth, the Saltzmans and Bikoff are determined to keep their ice cream as an “art form”—nothing but handcrafted with the best, natural ingredients and homemade taste—and scooped up by friendly, helpful servers.
Karen Young is the Founder/Editor of My Daily Find. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org