Does Sweet Rose Creamery make the best banana split on the planet? That may be taking things too far, but it wouldn't be hyperbolic to say they make the best banana split in Los Angeles.
The banana split in situ is often an ugly thing. There's the ideal: three perfectly symmetrical globes of ice cream sandwiched between firm banana slices, drizzled with fudge as thick and dark as the slurry from the La Brea tar pits and topped with mounds of fluffy whipped cream. Then there's the reality: melting, asymmetrical blobs of ice cream hastily jammed into a paper container, covered in barely-chocolate syrup and squirted with "whipped" cream from a can. The state of the sundae is so disappointing, we thought its exemplar existed only in an alternate universe ruled by Norman Rockwell. We're grateful to be proven wrong.
Sweet Rose, is Josh and Zoe Nathan's (Huckleberry, Rustic Canyon) artisanal ice cream shop in the Brentwood Country Mart, also ground zero for Hot Yoga Moms. The narrow store facing 26th Street is altogether too small to hold the throngs of customers queuing up for their ingredient-driven flavors. Here, "ingredient-driven" is code for fresh olallieberries, peaches, lemons, basil, coconuts, carrots, nectarines and corn. Yes, corn.
One of our favorite Sweet Rose flavors, available late last summer, was sweet corn. Imagine it, the candy of the vegetable world, pureed with cream and not too much sugar into a modestly sweet, velvet blend.
Sweet Rose's flavors aren't flashy or extreme. They tend to be exquisitely fresh preparations of classic flavors, sometimes with a twist. Listed on a large chalkboard, the daily flavors might include a strong and pleasantly bitter coffee ice cream made with beans from Caffe Luxxe next door, a cherry sorbet or a dairy-free horchata. Naturally, they have the ice cream flavor du jour, salted caramel. It's fantastic, with just the right hint of bitterness from the caramelized sugar. We'll have to arm-wrestle over an open flame to decide whether Sweet Rose or Carmela does it better.
Back to the banana split. It's perfect. It only has two scoops of ice cream, which is a mercy. (We recommend the salted caramel and anything else.) You can choose hot fudge, butterscotch or both. (We recommend both.) Every detail has been considered. It's topped with real whipped cream (the heavy stuff spooned from a cold metal tub) and, for a final touch, sprinkled with toasted, lightly sugared almond slivers. This banana split costs $7.50, but it's worth every penny.
Sure, Sweet Rose Creamery has other sundaes on the menu. None will do you wrong. The Bacon Sundae, dotted with candied bacon bits, oozing with bourbon bacon sauce and crowned with more bacon, is quite a looker. It's one of the better bacon desserts we've tried, but few bites go a long way. The banana split, fastidious in its devotion to a classic ideal, is perfect as enjoyable on the last bite as it is on the first.
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Previously on 30 Scoops in 30 Days...