One of the great success stories to come out of 2007 was about this little ice cream parlor next to a sleepy community college that came out of nowhere to be recognized as one of the most talk about place in all of 2007.
Recalling back from last year, not quite sure to whom the credit should be given to for creating the buzz for this place. On one hand, the LA Times article got the ball rolling. Then the chows from Chowhound put up a few topic on the board. Next thing you know, reviews starting to pop up on Yelp.com where users are raving about this place. In a fair and impartial way, everyone deserve equal credit for helping Tai Kim to get where he is today.
For those who didn't know about this place, let's try to recap on what it is special about Scoops.
Tai Kim is what you call these days as the Mad Scientist. He told me that when he started the business, he would try to mix different ingredients for a breed of different taste into one flavor. For every two weeks, he would come up with a menu for different flavors that would be in the store until it runs out. To answer the question, yes, flavors had been known to be sold out before closing time.
In the very beginning when the place just got started, he would be working by himself and the shop would closed on Sunday. Now, he hired a few staff members (I'm guessing from the neighboring LACC) and open for business on Sunday because it just gotten too busy. There is one thing that remain constant though. He briefly told me that the most popular flavor in his shop was Brownbread. Just like Potent Portables on Celebrity Jeopardy, Brownbread would be the only constant in that establishment.
When I first started coming here a year and half ago, the most bizarre flavor I ever got was the fig & wasabi. I wish I was kidding about that. It tasted like peppermint and was very "spicy", but yet it worked pretty well as an ice cream flavor. I don't know how it was possible, but it just does. Spicy ice cream? Believe it.
Over some time, there would be more flavors that would also include vegan soy base for the natural tongues who does not want allergic flavors. That would include flavors that does not include nuts or any additives for those looking for natural base desserts.
What brings me around this time was a promotion of 10 flavors for $10 that Scoops was doing for charity for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Here's what I got out of it:
2. Vanilla Jasmine
3. Kobacha Japanese Squash
4. Strawberry Tarragon
5. Coconut Lemon Grass (Vegan Soy Base)
6. Salty Chocolate (Vegan Soy Base)
7. Oolong Tea Maple (Vegan Soy Base)
8. Goat Cheese Lavender
9. Lingoberry Basil
10. Greentea Egg Nog
My favorite one out of that whole group was the Lingoberry Basil. That is something you got to try for yourself and let me know how you proceed to tell me how trippy this whole line-up was. The Salty chocolate is a very good description. It was salty, but the chocolate ice cream still have the unmistakable smooth texture of an ice cream. The salt naturally is an appetite killer and should be eaten last. Not every scoop of flavors will work as an ice cream flavor (noticed the Goat Cheese Lavender?) and then something would surprised you (Coconut Horchata & Kobacha Japanese Squash).
Regular price is $2.75 per scoop, but every scoop includes two flavors. Essentially you get two flavor of ice cream for one scoop. It is an experience you must have for an ice cream dessert. Sometimes I feel like Jackson Pollack would walked into the kitchen and put all the fruits in the blender to see what he can make.
Many people have made the pilgrimage to this store every other week just hoping to get an exciting new flavor they hope to try. Since my fig & wasabi flavor, I had been coming back here checking to see what's new. It never ceased to amaze me, even that day with 10 flavors!
712 N Heliotrope Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90029