Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Scoops Westside: A welcome addition to my evening commute

I can’t stop thinking about it.

All afternoon it’s been haunting me – disturbing my concentration and making it impossible to complete even the simplest tasks.

As I fill out an Excel grid, the numbers seem to morph their shape, blending to form the words, “Banana Apple Pie.”

I blink, shake my head like a dog shaking water off its fur, and turn my gaze back to the document. The numbers are normal again, but I’m clearly not.

“I’m losing my mind,” I think. “I have to go back for more.”

I’d already had more ice cream that day then I’d anticipated when I’d left my office to check out the new location of Scoops on the Westside over my lunch break. When I arrived at the humble shop, owned and operated by well-known Los Angeles food blogger Matthew Kang of Mattatouille, I really only thought I’d dip into one scoop. I had dinner plans that evening and didn’t want to completely overwhelm my stomach beforehand.

But before I knew it, Matt was dishing up samples of all eight flavors he had available that day (offerings change on a daily basis). My eyes grew wider with each spoonful of the fanciful flavors that made the original Scoops on Heliotrope and Melrose Avenue and proprietor Tai Kim famous. There was brown brown bread with an extra swirl of caramel, blueberry ume, coffee toffee, vegan lemon cashew, vegan salty chocolate, black sesame chai, yerba mate, and – the piece de resistance – banana apple pie.

As soon as I tasted the subtle banana-based ice cream saturated with heady chunks of apples and flaky pie crust, my heart skipped a beat. I tacked on a scoop of the coffee toffee for good measure, but my spoon moved fastest for the banana ice cream underneath. I couldn’t get over how fresh it tasted – like it was made on the farm with milk straight from the cow and an apple pie straight from a grandmother’s oven.

I thanked Matt profusely for my lunchtime treat, and then headed out the door with a promise to return soon. At the time, I had no idea that “soon” would be approximately three and a half hours later.

By 4:00 pm, I know a return visit on my way home from work is inevitable. Located at Woodbine and Overland Avenue, near the Overland and National exit off the 10 freeway, it is situated directly between my Santa Monica office and my West Hollywood apartment. I’m practically giddy as I race to my car when the clock strikes 5:00 pm – I feel like a school girl propelled by the freeing ring of the school bell.

Matt isn’t too surprised to see me when I prance in twenty minutes later sporting a sheepish grin. I’d warned him on Twitter that I was coming back for more. He’s ready for me – and scoops up another hefty portion of the banana apple pie ice cream for me to enjoy with a cup of Intelligentsia’s Iron Goddess of Mercy oolong tea. In addition to tea, Scoops Westside also stocks Intelligentsia coffee that Matt makes fresh to order with a sure and steady hand.

As I savor my third scoop of ice cream that day, I keep expecting my tongue and stomach to grow weary from all the sugar and fat I’ve likely consumed. I never reach that point. Even as I polish off the final milky dredges congregating in the crevices of my cup, I feel as though I could easily eat another scoop. And another.

I think that’s what I most appreciate about Scoops. While I love the unique flavors that both challenge and delight my palate, I also enjoy how “light” it tastes compared to other premium and gourmet ice creams. It’s so deceptively light, in fact, that I have no trouble returning the following day to soothe a newly acquired sore throat with a bowl of the mint bark pandan.

I have a feeling this is going to become a nasty little habit.

But at $2.50 a scoop and $3.50 for two, it’s thankfully a bad habit I can easily afford.

Scoops Westside
3400 Overland Ave. (Overland Ave and Woodbine)
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(323) 405-7055

Open Monday - Saturday 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Closed Sundays


stuffycheaks said...

haha that's awesome! The sesame chai sounds good. I think I'm going to try to swing by the weekends. boy am I glad I dont have an awesome ice cream place near my work..

weezermonkey said...

I've only had Scoops at the original location once, but I remember it fondly (and curse that I was camera-less).

I wish I could eat like you do, you skinny minnie.

Roxan said...

This is so close to me, I must go!!! Have you been to sweet rose creamery in brentwood? If not, you should try the ice cream there too! :) Hope you are doing well, it's been a while...

Monet said...

Oh delicious! It is still so warm here in Austin, and a little frozen treat sounds just about perfect right now. All of those flavors are too tempting. I agree with stuffycheeks, the chai sounds great! I hope you have a wonderful end to your week. Thanks for brightening my day!

Esi said...

Adding to my list of places I need to go during the break!!

Diana said...

Stephanie - The chai was good! They often have some sort of chai flavor. Isn't the original Scoops close-ish to your work?

Weez - Hah, well I don't usually make a habit of consuming 4 scoops in 27 hours! But it was a very fun weekend of eating.

Roxan - I love Sweet Rose Creamery! Only been once but was a big fan of their salted caramel - yum!

Monet - We actually had an unexpected heat wave out here this past weekend! It was 85 on Sunday -- perfect ice cream weather!

Esi - When you go, give me a shot and I'll come with you!

Kung Food Panda said...

Glad to hear you got a little snack place by your work :P

nelehelen said...

ahhhh i still need to go!! let me know the next time you go! this is right in my backyard and i don't know why i haven't been there yet...

Garrett said...

I live nearby as well and its pretty much a constant temptation. I've been having dreams about the pistachio rosewater for like a week.

mattatouille said...

Diana, thanks for the kind words. I've asked Tai to make banana apple pie again this weekend so I'll let you know when we have it.

Helen, how come you haven't been here yet??

Gastronomer said...

I need to do a Chego + Scoops, one-two punch, sometime in the new year. It's just not right that I haven't visited matty poo!

Nicole said...

Ohhhh I am so jealous! I miss Scoops, Paul and I talk about how much we both miss it quite often!

Food, she thought. said...

I am SOOOO glad this is not on my evening commute. I'd be stopping everyday. I need to get in there and enjoy Matt's ice cream before summertime when he will start to sell out everyday.

Jenny said...

Ohmygosh- Amazing!! SCOOPS on the west side! I gave them 5 out of 5 cherries!
You are such a talented writer Diana. I love reading about your culinary adventures, especially in desserts!

Dessert Darling