QUESTION: I grew up on the ice cream at the old Wil Wright’s on Beverly Drive, and I adored the enormous banana splits at Poppy’s. When provoked, I can work up a tear or two for the Zoo at Farrell’s, or even the malteds at the old Carnation ice cream parlor down on Wilshire near Vine. But most of all, like any sensible Los Angeles native, I miss the hot fudge sundaes that I used to get at C.C. Brown’s, around the corner from the Chinese, which were topped with the most delicious whipped cream I can ever remember tasting, and sprinkled with toasted nuts. I know the C.C. Brown’s hot fudge sundae was in a universe of its own, but have you run across anything close recently? And don’t tell me to buy their fudge in a jar at Gelson’s. I’ve tried it. It isn’t the same.
ANSWER: Great ice cream is pretty common in the Los Angeles area. We’ve got Charlie Temel, which may be the only taste this column and the current governor have in common. Also Ciao Bella, and the fine gelato they make at the restaurant Alto Palato on La Cienega. The estimable Dr. Bob enables Southland chocoholics from his outpost in Upland. McConnell’s in Santa Barbara is only a couple hours’ drive. But greatness in ice cream making does not necessarily extend to greatness in the art of sundae construction, and good soda fountains are maddeningly rare.
In its former lifetime as a drive-in hamburger restaurant, Twohey’s, at the confluence of Alhambra and San Marino, may not even have rated as a soda fountain, but by the new century’s standards it is very good indeed, flipping out exemplary fresh-lime freezes, fizzily perfect ice cream sodas, and shakes so thick that they essentially deny the straw. But Twohey’s hot fudge sundae, an adult concoction made with dense whipped cream, Fosselman’s artisanal vanilla ice cream and a fudge that practically vibrates with intense chocolate bitterness, is the cherry on its banana split. Twohey’s may not be C.C. Brown’s — nothing may ever be again — but it serves one hell of a hot fudge sundae. Twohey’s, 1224 N. Atlantic Blvd., Alhambra, (626) 284-7387.
Got a burning culinary question? Try us: firstname.lastname@example.org