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.
3400 Overland Ave. (Overland Ave and Woodbine)
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Open Monday - Saturday 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm