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The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck: Worth the Wait?

Salty Pimp at Big Gay Ice Cream Truck
Salty Pimp at Big Gay Ice Cream Truck
Tejal Rao

Last week, to much fanfare, New York City's Big Gay Ice Cream Truck rolled into Los Angeles for the first time ever, bringing its famous Strauss-creamery soft serve and dulce de leche with it. It was billed as a "pop-up truck," combining two of the most overused food trends in a way that might have given you brain freeze if you thought about it too hard. It didn't matter though, because there was ice cream, and everyone loves ice cream.

If you were smart, you might have gone early in the week to its lunchtime post-ups outside Duff's Cake Mix on Melrose, at Yahoo HQ in Santa Monica, or near some of the production studios up in Hollywood. (What, no stops in Boystown?) For the most part, the lines there amounted to a lengthy but manageable 20-minute wait.

Line at the BGICT
Line at the BGICT
G. Snyder

But if you were like us, you might have foolishly chosen to visit B.G.I.C.T. on the night it was parked just down the street from Animal, where hordes of fans lined up not just to buy fig and olive oil sundaes and ginger-curry shakes but t-shirts covered with the rainbow-spouting unicorn the truck adopted as its logo.

The line, which stretched back to the end of the Rosewood Gardens parking lot, and had to be cut off around 11 p.m. due to dwindling supplies, took about an hour-and-a-half to get through. Of course, pithy, passive-aggressive tweets abounded from the social media-equipped foodies who were turned away. Those stuck in line could pass the time by peering through the fence at some Friday Night Football going on at Fairfax High next door, a 45-0 whooping of cross-town rival Westchester High.

In many ways, waiting for a cone from Big Gay Ice Cream cone was like waiting for an iPhone 5. Supplies were outpaced by demand; some friends who had tried it previously claimed it was "nothing special" while others had others had assured us it was life-changing.

So how was it? We opted for the "Salty Pimp", the most well-known creation consisting of high-butterfat soft serve piped with stripes of caramel and dipped in a crunchy chocolate shell (remember the ones at Foster's Freeze?) spiked with a liberal amount of sea salt. It was certainly a salty "pimp-slap" of flavor -- rich, creamy, and not too sweet, the best part might have been the bonus drizzle of caramel waiting in the very bottom of your sugar cone. It's pretty hard to judge anything objectively when you've been waiting over an hour, but this truck left a good taste in our mouth.

Even if you didn't get a taste, you might be in luck sometime in the near future. Rumors are swirling that Big Gay Ice Cream is considering a Los Angeles location. The real question if that happens will be whether this NYC brand can captivate Angeleno eaters with $5 ice cream cones once the thrill of the temporary truck chase has worn off.


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