We have another heat wave in Los Angeles, and all I can think of is how much I’d love another scoop of frozen deliciousness. I love ice cream, and I’m sorry, there’s really no substitute for the good stuff. I like organic cream, milk, eggs, and ingredients frozen in a cup- never a cone- and in my hand. Sweet Rose Creamery is all the rage, but a bit of a stretch for a late night errand if you reside in West LA. Instead, try these 3 great options. Luckily, they’re going to be opening more locations soon! In the meantime, test out these West LA ice cream staples:
Carmela Ice Cream, West 3rd and Fairfax (across from Trader Joe’s):
- Carmela Ice Cream is my #1. The ingredients are organic and from local farms, they use actual Intelligentsia espresso beans in their espresso flavor, and real vanilla beans are used for vanilla and also available for purchase. Their flavors rotate seasonally, and if you don’t like the strawberry buttermilk flavor, don’t bother reading my blog post any further. It is divine.
Top Round Roast Beef: La Brea & Olympic
- So, you’re probably wondering why I’d recommend Top Round Roast Beef in an ice cream post, especially since you’ve probably come to terms with the fact that I don’t even eat roast beef. Well surprise! They have custards. I used to adore a custard spot conveniently (inconveniently?) outside my summer job in suburbia. The classic, plain vanilla mixed with anything of your dreams is hard to pass up. The custard at Top Round Roast Beef is no exception. It provided me with summertime nostalgia and a tasty, frozen treat with ribbons and large bits of Oreos laced throughout.
Whipp’d LA: West Hollywood (Fairfax & Santa Monica Blvd.)
- If you want to harken back to even more longstanding nostalgia, this is the spot. As any Texan will tell you, there’s just no substitute for ice cream in your freezer when it comes to Bluebell Ice Cream. The stuff is what dreams are made of in LARGE half gallon containers full of real ingredients like whole Oreos, Nilla wafers in the banana pudding flavor (weird sounding but awesome, I promise), and more. That said, of course you can’t find it in any grocery store in Los Angeles or New York. Thanks to Whipp’d LA, which features both Bluebell Ice Cream and Dole Whips, you can stop feeling depressed and feed your inner child. Oh, and they deliver. Terrifying, right?
Going to go for a jog now that I wrote this…
Mendocino Farms has several sandwich shops located near the Grove , downtown Los Angeles, West Hollywood, and in Marina Del Rey. These are not your average sandwich shops, Subway fans beware! Mendocino Farms serves up gourmet sandwiches with farm fresh vegetables and meats. They emphasize using seasonal, local ingredients, which is really all the rage these days.
Look, they even roast pork in a dutch oven like us normals do!
Their sandwiches are amazing and they have several vegetarian and vegan options.
No longer are you stuck to a hummus/bell pepper/cucumber sandwich, there are inventive choices, like the Mac n Cheese sandwich. This sandwich, while probably wildly unhealthy, was very appealing to me. Inside the crusty, toasted bread were noodle shells, cheese, seitan in BBQ sauce, and pinto beans.
This sandwich, the Vegan BBQ Torta, also has the barbecue braised shaved seitan and pinto beans but is accompanied by avocado, vegenaise,, spicy peppers, and romaine lettuce on ciabatta.
Another bonus is that they serve Boylan’s sodas instead of fructose corn syrup filled trash. The root beer is phenomenal! If you’re looking for a sandwich upgrade in Los Angeles, this is definitely the spot.
I missed ramen. Also, it was windy, rainy, and almost “cool” out, so I researched online where to try ramen in Los Angeles. I discovered Robata Jinya on 3rd (near the Beverly Center), a smallish joint with robata, sushi, appetizers, tapas, and, of course, RAMEN. The place is pretty tiny, so I recommend making a reservation ahead of time. I wish I had known that, but alas… this is why I blog.
We sat at the sushi bar and had a prime view of meal preparation. The robata grill is to the right of me, and I was very excited to name all the mushrooms in the case in front of me as I awaited my food. I know my mushrooms well.
To start, there were a ton of options. We began with Asahi beers and one of the daily specials, tempura Brussels sprouts with truffle salt, which is basically a gift from the earth to the universe. I mean, what could be better? Then we ordered two different kinds of ramen- the vegetarian and a meat-based one with eggs on top. The vegetarian ramen came loaded with greens and inside the bowl was broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, spinach, onion, garlic, and more. The broth was not clear and it appeared to have some pureed vegetables in it as well for extra flavor. Though the cauliflower was bulky and a bit difficult to eat, the ramen was overall very delicious and worth going back for. The flavor was very different than a usual miso-based vegetarian bowl and a welcome change up of flavors.
Blu Jam Cafe was hopping when I paid it a visit. The restaurant, located on Melrose, is known for its long wait times for brunch and crunchy French toast. The wait was not too rough and definitely worth it though!
My mouth watered as soon as I opened the menu, and trying to figure out what to order was no breeze. If you’ve got any special diet requirements, you can still brunch here too, and they clearly label on the menu vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options.
Once we read through the menu several times, we got the salmon scramble and breakfast sandwich, both of which were huge portions full of deliciousness. To drink there are fresh juices, French press coffee, regular coffee, and cocktails. The food was delectable, the decor kitschy and fun, and the drinks were superb. Drop in when you’re in the area!