10 Places for Weird But Awesome Ice Cream Flavors in L.A.

Ice cream at Mother MooEXPAND
Ice cream at Mother Moo
Photo by Lynn Chen

Is your ice cream too ... vanilla? Lately, we’ve noticed long lines forming on sidewalks around the city, with customers studying complex menus like they’re cramming for the SATs before ordering. These days, cocoa is to chocolate as curry is to cherimoya.

While your feet cramp up waiting to satisfy these curiosities, we decided to test out some of the more unconventional flavors found at ten Los Angeles stores. With the constant sunshine, our ice cream makers have a chance to experiment all year long (another talking point the next time you find yourself in a heated NYC vs L.A. battle).

Most of these flavors are seasonal, making multiple trips mandatory. Some left a bad taste in our mouth, while others sounded crazy on paper, but not on our palate. Here’s what’s actually worth scoping out and scooping up.

Sweet XO's Lucky CharmsEXPAND
Sweet XO's Lucky Charms
Photo by Lynn Chen

10. Sweet XO
Need some soap shaped like ice cream? A T-shirt covered in cones? A ceramic sundae dish? This mall store has all of that – and actual frozen treats, too. The walls are filled with soft-serve options, but the real draw is the ice cream case, where cereal milk gets a whole new meaning in the form of Lucky Charms and Frosted Flakes. Top your ounces off with some Jelly Beans or caramel sauce, then watch their specially-formulated spoon change colors for a pleasant, psychedelic trip. Twin Oaks Shopping Center, 5825 Kanan Rd, Agoura Hills, CA 91301.

Mashti Malone's Pumpkin
Mashti Malone's Pumpkin
Photo by Lynn Chen

9. Mashti Malone’s
A rose is a rose is a rose — except when it's at Mashti Malone's. At this ice cream institution known for its Persian flavors (family-mastered for over 75 years), a rose is a Rosewater Saffron, is a Ginger Rosewater, is a Rose Sorbet with Wild Cherries. The floral flavor may be reminiscent of Grandma Doris’ perfume, and according to their website, it will regulate your menstrual flow. (And if you don't need help in that arena, check out the Peanut Butter Cup – not “weird” but one of the best in the city.) 1525 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046.

Mother Moo's Orange Blossom CardamomEXPAND
Mother Moo's Orange Blossom Cardamom
Photo by Lynn Chen

8. Mother Moo Creamery
“Mother” is Karen Klemens, a fruit expert (and the preserving whiz behind Mothercluck Preserves) who uses organic, local ingredients in her daily repertoire. When I stopped by the shop, Sweet Basil and Orange Blossom Cardamom stood out – the latter reminiscent of deeply sweet Chai tea. Whatever your age, this Sierra Madre store will make you feel like a kid again – buzzing for new experiences and open to possibility. (Among ice cream flavors, anyway.) 17 Kersting Ct, Sierra Madre, CA 91024.

KindKreme's Maple Pecan and Superfood on a raw brownie, Coconut Chocolate Chip and Superfood on a gluten-free waffle.
KindKreme's Maple Pecan and Superfood on a raw brownie, Coconut Chocolate Chip and Superfood on a gluten-free waffle.
Photo by Lynn Chen

7. Kindkreme (at Sage)
These raw, vegan sweets get their creamy base from cruelty-free sources: coconut, almond, and cashew milk. Seasonal specialties range from beet ginger grapefruit, loquat carrot-orange, and cumquat gogi. Want a nutritional boost? Order a “Fresh” (cucumber, kale, lemon, Himalayan sea salt) or “Superfood” (acai, E3Live, goji berries, cacao nibs, hemp seeds, chia seeds, maca and macadamia nuts). If you can’t wrap your mind around the idea of seeds/greens in your ice cream, ask for your scoop on a gluten-free waffle or brownie – that’ll make it a lot easier to stomach. Two locations: 1700 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026;  4130 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230.

Fosselmans' Black SesameEXPAND
Fosselmans' Black Sesame
Photo by Lynn Chen

6. Fosselman’s
At this old-fashioned ice cream parlor, you’ll cozy up to traditional flavors you’d expect from a place that’s been churning for almost a century. Of the 48 menu items, a few are usually rotated in to liven things up. We ordered Black Sesame, a recent client-requested concoction that migrated into their freezers. I also sampled the Black Licorice – a candy many aren't fond of, but happily, it lost its sharpness in cold, creamy form. 1824 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801.

Cookies & Cream's Taro NutellaEXPAND
Cookies & Cream's Taro Nutella
Photo by Lynn Chen

5. Cookies & Cream
If you’re having a taro craving, this South Pasadena shop is your savior. When we visited, there were three varieties on the menu: regular taro, a vegan (coconut-based) version, and “Heavenly” – mixed in with salty toffee. Pandan inspired multiple options as well – with or without chocolate. But don’t leave without trying the Earl Grey Mango Amaretto, a mellow richness that will satisfy both your high tea and happy hour urges. 1010 1/2 Fair Oaks Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030.

Sweet Rose Creamery's Black Sesame and Kyoho Grape
Sweet Rose Creamery's Black Sesame and Kyoho Grape
Photo by Lynn Chen

4. Sweet Rose Creamery
This is the little black dress of ice cream shops. Stick to the classics, or accessorize them with toppings or flavors that have a little more flair. Current fall-inspired options include Butternut Squash with Sage Brittle, Bay Leaf with Thyme Roasted Jujube, and Quince Ripple with Manchego. Whatever you end up ordering, ask for some freshly ground sea salt to complete your perfect dessert ensemble. Three locations: Brentwood Country Mart, 225 26th St, Suite 51, Santa Monica, CA 90402; 826 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405; 7565 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036.



Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >