Summer is almost over, but here in sunny Southern California more ice cream is always appreciated. Especially when that ice cream comes from Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan (Rustic Canyon, Milo & Olive) and their chef and partner at Sweet Rose Creamery, Shiho Yoshikawa.
Sweet Rose's second location will open Sept. 21 at 826 Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica, and it will provide Yoshikawa with a lot more space to work with. The main kitchen operation is moving from the Brentwood Country Mart location to the new space. There's a 1,000-square-foot freezer and enough workspace to give Yoshikawa a research and development kitchen.
We asked Josh Loeb what will be different about this store. "This retail store, because it's attached to our kitchen, will definitely be our most experimental store," Loeb says. "We'll try a lot of flavors out here first. Also, Shiho's obsessed with making really great soft-serve, which we haven't done before -- most soft-serve tastes the same because almost everyone uses a premixed base -- but ours is made from scratch, so Shiho can play with the fat content and flavor profiles. It's reallllllly good.
"So far my favorite flavors are a Kyoho grape (which is nondairy, made with a sorbet base that we make) and a "Milk" flavor, which is a much more neutral vanilla but really creamy and good. They're also great swirled. She wants to do a peanut butter flavor and then swirl that with the grape for PB&J, which I can't wait to try either.
"This location also is our first one where we're doing coffee. We're working with Caffe Luxxe, because they roast locally and we've known them forever. I love their coffee, and we're doing espresso, plus single-origin pourover and drip for on-the-go. We worked with them also to create an 'RC Family Blend' that we use in all of our restaurants and will use for drip there.
"Zoe's also created some new pastries from our Milo and Olive kitchen specifically for Sweet Rose. Some highlights are a blueberry sweet-cream brioche, which is so good (especially with coffee), a savory scone with cheddar and Fresno chiles, and a gluten-free coffee cake, which I love even though I could care less whether it had gluten in it or not."
There's also a plan for fresh and frozen yogurts down the line.
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Another thing Loeb emphasizes is how excited they are about going into this neighborhood. "This probably wouldn't have been our first choice for purely a retail store because it's on a street full of a lot of car mechanics and strip malls," he says. "But ever since we put the sign on the doors, we've had such an awesome response from the neighbors, who are really excited to see quality places come into this part of Santa Monica. It's rare to feel like you're in a 'developing' part of Santa Monica, but this really is, and it's fun to be a positive part of that."
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