During my teeny bits of time off in Los Angeles recently, my mission was to track down amazing ice cream, which you’d think would be easy, in a city of sunny skies and foodie fans. But in such a vast metropolis, finding something specific can mean sitting in traffic for over an hour, which even for an avid cool-hunter like me, is not that appealing. I wanted to try out Scoops, recommended to me by various LA know-it-alls. But inexplicably the closest branch to my LA-nest, in Highland Park, was closed on Sundays. No Sundae Best for them.
But chance would have it, whilst on a brunch outing in the cooler-than-cool Silver Lake neighborhood, I did find myself across the street from The Milk Shop. Before you ask, this Milk is not to be confused with (though probably always confused with) the Milk Bars in NYC, part of the Momofuku chain. Indeed, I think this West Coast brand might be a year older.
Standing outside, I took a moment to consider whether 11am on Sunday was too early for ice cream, but was in the door before I had a chance to decide it was not.
The Milk Shop specializes in ice cream sandwiches, which are served up in a clean, industrial space. Halloween decor (whoops, busted for delayed posting!) gave texture and color to the space which would otherwise feel purely functional, like a professional kitchen – which isn’t a bad vibe for, well, a professional kitchen.
Preferring a gluten-free-ish diet, I wasn’t going near the sammies (and if I’m completely honest, even when I was gorging on gluten, I’d find two large cookies AND a large scoop of ice cream always a bit overwhelming). I sampled a couple of ice cream flavors: Thai Tea (one of their most popular), which was a little icy, and had a strangely fragrant taste that, admittedly, never does it for me, in drink or ice cream form. However, their delicious Nutella flavor had a fantastic luxurious texture and pleasingly nutty finish.
I decided to gamble on a Banana Butterscotch Bar (no pre-sampling allowed). The banana and Dulce de Leche ice cream came with that wonderful warmth banana can bring, though the Dulce de Leche might have been just a bit too ‘dulce’ for me, especially when wrapped in a butterscotch and almond coating. Biting into the crunchy outer layer took me back to my childhood choc-ice days, delicately biting to avoid dropping the precious chocolate. This bar is basically a super-premium, hand-made Magnum, and despite feeling a little queasy by the time I was holding an empty stick – I’d choose it over a Magnum any day.