Halloween happened (check!) and the holidays are but a heartbeat away (thump thump, thump thump).  But no reason to stress.  Relax, grab the kids, it’s all going to be good.  Like sweet mother of all artisanal ice cream, good.  All wrapped up and holiday ready, a second outpost of Sweet Rose Creamery has come to the rescue.  Whether you need a breakfast on the go, and afternoon respite and treat to calm the maddening brood or a pint (or six) to liven up any holiday pie, it’s all good on Pico.

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Turns Out A Rose By Any Other Neighborhood Does Taste As Sweet
The artisanal ice cream ingénues that launched a thousand salted caramel addictions have given rise to a second location. Sure, it’s the little black dress of flavors now, but any kid worth their weight in gold medal ribbon will tell you it’s Sweet Rose Creamery who truly put salted caramel on the map. If we had a nickel for every time we heard their trademark flavor should be illegal (spoken as the highest term of endearment), uh, college tuition?  We’d be Ivy League all set.

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Good Taste Runs in The Family
If for some reason you’ve yet to sample the goodness churned out by the Josh Loeb & Zoe Nathan Empire, sadly you can’t even blame this one on the kids.  Their Rustic Canyon come Huckleberry come Milo & Olive come Sweet Rose Creamery westside dynasty is a family focused labor of luscious, locally sourced love.  But the real beauty in their bounty is the one thing so many fine eateries in our town omit.  They like kids.  They even – wait for it – welcome them.

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It’s Like The Kids Have Been Telling Us All Along
Ice cream is not meant for dessert alone.  How provincial.  Archaic! So look what the Loeb/Nathan empire has cooked up here (in conjunction with executive chef and co-owner Shiho Yoshikawa).  They’ve compiled all their sumptuous superlatives and baked them into one bevy of delectables: a best of consumption collective, open from 7:00 am til 10:00 pm.  Ice cream for breakfast?  No problem.  Or you could start with Milo & Olive handbaked beauties;  think lemon muffins, glazed doughnuts so good (Krispy who?) they could only be graced by a cup of Caffe Luxxe.  And breakfast by the brainchildren of Huckleberry? The lines you have to suffer through for one whiff of those peach crostatas at Huckleberry on Wilshire is in fact worth it.  But now, wait no more.  Order up while the kids mull over Apricot Sorbet or Old Fashioned Vanilla.

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Noshing, Bespoke
He wants Gaia Melon Frozen Yogurt (respect).  She’s clamoring for Blueberry Cream Brioche (high five, kid).  And you’re feeling like someone might get injured if you don’t get your hands around a Caffe Luxxe Latte (try it with the homemade almond milk – soaked in dates – it’s weep worthy).  Behold the beauty of decision evasion.  He gets his froyo, she gets her blueberry, you get your coffee, and nobody gets hurt.  Clearly this spot is the work of a family who understands the multiple and reliably conflicting wants of a, well, family.

Pico’s Gone Soft
That froyo part – you did read that right.  Exclusive to the Pico location, welcome to soft serve, the Sweet Rose way.  With flavors that change as fast as your 2 year old’s mind, one day may feature dairy free Kyoho Grape and Creamy Peanut Butter.  So what happens when you twist them together?  PB&J.  Don’t even bother pretending it’s just for kids. SweetRosesoftserve

We Can Admit It
Even our kids can admit it.  All ice cream is not created equally.  Maybe it’s the Clover Organic Farms milk and cream and the Chino Valley Ranchers eggs. Or maybe it’s Shiho Yoshikawa, a seasonal cooking savant if ever there was one, who is incapable of separating the boundaries of passion and peaches and impossibly fragrant rose geranium, and creating ice cream flavors that spring from whatever farm fresh offering ignites her. She’s also a brand new mommy.  One more person who is thinking about what kids, and their parents, like to eat.

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With Chocolate and Salted Caramel on the menu . . .
You might at first be surprised if one of your kids opts instead for apple sorbet.  Yet as it is scooped into a house made waffle cone (made daily in chocolate or vanilla varieties), you get a whiff of three different heirloom apple varieties, and realize that married to the fresh vanilla cone, your tot basically ordered apple pie in a cone. Makes more sense.  So if you’re looking to diversify your kin’s palate portfolio, this just may be the place to make things interesting.

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Fresh Mint With Homemade Chocolate Chips
Pause for moment of worship.  This.  This is the Holy Grail of Mintchipdom.  Where the mothership landed and planted her pale green flag and forevermore determined this is what mint chip was meant to be.  This is mint chip as your children should know it.  It is not your every day mint.  It is fresh leaf mint.  Homemade chocolate slabs broken into bite-able bits.  An you may find this flavor to be a polarizing one.  There are those who swear it is the mint to take all other mints down.  Then there are the people who need to try it again.  And your kids should know that mint chip does not naturally come in Nickelodeon green.  There – you’ve just taught them science.  Congratulations – you’ve earned another scoop for the wisdom you’re imparting.

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But My Oh Milo
It’s never too cold in Sunny So Cal for a cup of creamy delights.  But on those days where you’re really feeling the chill (did the mercury just dip below 70?) – fear not, you can comfortably cup Valrhona mocha, and there is hot chocolate with house made marshmallows for your little sidekicks.  Maybe paired with a fruit and nut breadstick for Mom, almond croissant for kids?  Bring that cold weather.  We’re ready.

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Written and photographed by Jolie Loeb

Sweet Rose Creamery
826 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica
Phone: 310.260.2663
Online: sweetrosecreamery.com

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What’s your favorite spot in town for sweet treats?  And where do you fall in the great mint chip debate?  Let us know.