There are things you learn as frequent diners. Ask for the specials or, even better, what's fresh or in season. Check the price of the bottles on the menu before ordering a just a few glasses. And the one skill that comes in most handy: learn to read your waiter. A small exhalation, a flourish of the pencil, can lead you to expect a great meal — or to brace yourself. Earlier this year we ordered a last minute dessert at Pitfire Pizza: “The soft serve.” A raised eyebrow. “With the salty caramel.” A twitch of the cheek.

The Pitfire Pizza mini chain is the only place in Los Angeles serving Straus organic soft serve ice cream. Located in Marin County, Straus Family Creamery was one the first certified organic dairy in California. Straus' products are produced sustainably, are non-GMO and kosher making the brand the dairy darling of markets from Whole Foods to Cookbook. Further, behind the glass bottles, the certification and carbon credits are milk products that are ultra creamy and actually tastes like milk.

At Pitfire Pizza, the Straus vanilla soft serve can be topped with sauces including Scharffen Berger chocolate and organic extra virgin olive oil. However, we keep ordering it paired with their house made caramel with Maldon salt. The vanilla flavor of the soft serve is gentle, but seems to come out the most when spoonfuls are draped by the ribbons of buttery caramel. The grains of salt are tiny, but make their presence known by hitting your tongue in places you didn't even think you had tastebuds, underneath, gently in the corner.

“Good, right?” The waiter asked when he came back to pick up the scraped empty ice cream cup. Of course it was. Just like he said it would be.

The meaning of envelop...; Credit: D. Gonzalez

The meaning of envelop…; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Pitfire Pizza: Locations in North Hollywood, West Hollywood, Downtown and Culver City.

LA Weekly