Face it, LA. When it comes to eating, we can be a little particular. Kale pizza – it’s on every corner. Quinoa pancakes? We know at least two places. And if we want our strawberry ice cream made from garden picked berries and organic buttermilk? Eureka, this is the city where you can find it, now that Carmela Ice Cream has parloured up on Third St. The cult favorite, beloved by kids and parents alike, (that used to be only at the Farmers Markets) is now Grove adjacent. Just in time for the hot weather… So gather ye kin and show them how a spoonful of sugar makes so much more than making the medicine go down.
LA Weekly lauds them #1 Ice Cream Shop in the city. Los Angeles Magazine voted them Best of LA. Pasadena Weekly can’t stop throwing awards at them. And now Red Tricycle is casting its ballot. We’d tell you how we voted but that would mean we’d have to stop licking this Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean. Not happening.
So while Salted Caramel may be the new Black, Green, Everything in Between . . .
Better sit down for this one. Think all salted caramels created equal? They are. And so are pizzas and sushi for that matter. PLEASE. Even Sweet Rose Creamery (where a local seven year old once advised everyone in line that they had to order the Salted Caramel, because it was “the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth”) may have to surrender its crown here; Carmela’s salted caramel will buckle your knees like the ground itself gave in. It is devastatingly good. Like coffee flavored? It’s made with Intelligentsia Espresso. Forget about it. Madness. That good.
Still, Espresso Ice Cream? For Children?
Not unless we’re plotting some revenge on REMS. So flavors like Dark Chocolate or Vanilla Bean to the rescue. Or maybe not: after all, creativity begets creativity. The only thing we love more than imparting this lesson is eating this lesson. Kids that usually will only order vanilla-slash-strawberry went loopy over the lavender honey and the lemon basil sorbet. Eating outside of the box – what better place to begin than ice cream. First lavender honey, next, they’ll actually want sauce on their pasta. Dare we picture a green vegetable in the future?
Can The Cucumber Sorbet Count as a Vegetable?
Yes. Done and done. Ice cream just made them eat their veggies.
And for Our Fellow Mint Chipaholics . . .
Fresh mint with cacao nibs. It’s white the way mint should be, and tastes like a fresh mint garden graced your taste buds. This is what to eat the other 11 months when Peppermint Bark isn’t all the rage, and you finished raiding their pumpkin of all the York Peppermint Patties. Like the Espresso, this flavor may be strictly for Mom, but don’t we deserve a treat, too?
Or perhaps it’s bribe material? Not only can you use it as an escape from American Girl (or riding the tram for the 25th time, if you’ve got a little conductor instead of an American Girl devotee), you can use it as a (let’s not call it bribe) reward for a tantrum-free trip to Trader Joe’s. (You could leave your car there and walk here from either TJ’s or The Grove. Just sayin’.)
If we could make ice cream at home, and we were really spectacular at it, this is how we dream it would taste. It’s true what they say. Good ice creams come in small batches. Grab a spoon and taste what’s worth screaming about.
Written and photographed by Jolie Loeb
Carmela Ice Cream
790 West Third Street
Los Angeles, Ca 90048