How do you like to enjoy a cold brew? Does the dark, toasty thickness of an Irish Stout help you flex your beer muscles? Or maybe you prefer the bitter edge of a really hoppy glass of IPA. And how would you like that? In a cone or in a dish?
To celebrate LA Beer Week, Scoops has been serving up beer-flavored ice creams. How do they do it? Well, let's start with a traditional flavor like hazelnut or pistachio and then add something like a Tanger Wheat Beer from Lost Coast Brewery to the mix and you start to get the idea. I am always an advocate of a cool, frothy beverage, and now thanks to Scoops I can eat my frosty beer as well as drink it. How good does it taste? Well, let's just say I'm glad I didn't get pulled over on the way home, because we may have eaten our way over the legal limit. 'What's that officer? Why, no. I haven't had anything to drink.' *wink*
But if beer doesn't appeal to your sweet tooth, Scoops may still surprise you with their other creative flavor combinations. Forget about the yawners like vanilla, you're more likely to find strawberry-balsamic, foie gras or mascarpone-butterfinger. I'm personally looking forward to heading back for a scoop of the salty chocolate, but you never know quite what's in store for you. The flavors change on the regular, with the only constant being the house speciality Brown Bread- a unique flavor that gets an interesting little kick from the addition of grape nuts. And trust me, it's surprisingly good for an ice cream flavor called Brown Bread.
The concept for Scoops began at the Heliotrope location with owner and ice cream scientist Tai Kim (okay, he may not be an actual scientist, but you'd think it). However, this fall the Scoops franchise is ready to expand. A new location will be opening up on the westside in the coming weeks, spawned by one of the scoop shop's biggest fans. No, really. Matthew Kang (below, left) is actually a fellow food blogger and, in his enthusiasm for Kim's adventurous flavors, has forged a relationship with Kim that's evolved from patron to friend to business partner. In the food world, that's akin to your favorite band asking you to come onstage and play bass.
To my surprise, Angela, who normally doesn't go for the desserts, was a really big fan. Kang explained to us how they don't overwhelm the flavors with excessive amounts of sugar and fat, and this way the real flavors shine through. Angela appreciated that hers wasn't spiked with sweetness and this was one of the rare times I've seen her make it through an entire dessert. There's also the occasional non-dairy flavor.
If you're feeling adventurous, keep your eyes peeled for Kang's Scoops sequel in Palms at 10640 Woodbine Street, south of the 10 freeway. Tai Kim will still be making the ice cream, but Kang will be introducing it to a whole new neighborhood along with Intelligentsia coffee (my favorite!) and free wi-fi. You can follow the new location's progress on twitter @ScoopsWestside. If you're on the east side... or just impatient, you can still head to Kim's original Scoops at 712 N. Heliotrope Dr. I promise you'll like it... who knows, maybe you'll like it so much you wind up opening your own.