QUESTION: I’ve been longing for frozen custard since I
moved out here six years ago from Arkansas. Are there any establishments specializing
in frozen custard instead of ice cream?
—Matt Gleason, Valencia
ANSWER: I know what you mean about frozen custard. It’s
one of the famously unavailable Los Angeles foods, and at the moment there’s
nothing here remotely as good as Kopp’s in Milwaukee, Anderson’s in Buffalo,
Custard Beach in Manhattan, or even the Wisconsin-Texas chain Culver’s, which
serves some pretty formidable frozen custard alongside its renowned ButterBurgers.
A homesick St. Louis expat I know likes to phone order the aptly named “concretes”
from Ted Drewes in St. Louis, which are overnighted with a protective consort
of dry ice and show up the next morning frozen hard as freeway pavement.
If you are up for a drive to Temecula, Karl Malone, of all people, just opened a restaurant called Kill Devils Frozen Custard that has North Carolina barbecue as well as the namesake dessert. (I haven’t been.) But somewhat closer to home, you might check out the frozen custard at Taste Chicago, a Chicago-themed hot-dog-slash-pizza-slash-Italian-beef dive owned by actor Joe Mantegna. Frozen custard isn’t especially associated with Chicago, and the restaurant itself seems to make a bigger deal of its Italian ices, but the building used to house the custard stand Pegadoe’s, and at least some of the equipment and recipes obviously stayed behind. It’s not Kopp’s, but you could do a lot worse. Ted Drewes, (314) 481-2124; Kill Devils Frozen Custard, (909) 296-2223; Taste Chicago, (818) 563-2800.