Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Top 5 Icy Treats to Beat the Heat

Scorching days with high temps and Santa Ana winds were made for icy indulgences. Here are my top 5 picks for treats to help you beat the heat.

5) Lava Flows at Duke's Malibu:

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Head west to Malibu where cooler temps and gorgeous views await you at the oceanfront Duke's Malibu, a restaurant and bar dedicated to Duke Kahanamoku-- the godfather of Hawaiian surfing. The open patio is the perfect spot to sip on a cold, tropical Lava Flow while looking out on the ocean and basking in the fresh sea breeze.

5) Frozen Custard Concretes at Top Round:

Banana Cream Pie Concrete at Top Round

Top Round is a fast-casual roast beef sandwich spot with a pedigree. Its founders are Anthony Carron (800 Degrees), Noah Ellis (Red Medicine), Steve Fretz (XIV) and Jamie Tiampo (NYC's L'artusi and dell'anima), a team of restaurateurs that knows a thing or two about good eating. On a day like today, however, it's their frozen custard you'll want. You can order yours in a cone, a milkshake, or a sundae, but it's their concretes, a cup of frozen custard with toppings mixed in, that call my name. This Banana Cream Pie concrete with bananas, fudge, whole Nilla wafers and whipped cream is particularly addictive.

3) Shaved Snow at Blockheads Shavery:

Blockheads Shavery

The Little Osaka area of West LA is perhaps best known for its abundance of ramen, but another Sawtelle eatery often boasts a line that rivals the one at Tsujita-- Blockheads Shavery. Blockheads serves Taiwanese shaved snow, which is made by freezing blocks of flavored, milky ice and then shaving them into airy ribbons, yielding a consistency much different than that of Hawaiian shave ice. My favorite order is green tea shaved snow topped with condensed milk and housemade rice cakes.

2) Shaved Ice at Get Shaved

Get Shaved
Naturally, my favorite type of shaved ice is of the Hawaiian variety (sorry, Taiwan). In LA, no one does shaved ice better than Get Shaved, which has shops in Torrance, Sherman Oaks and Northridge plus a roaming truck. The Get Shaved owners (who are awesome, by the way) aren't from Hawaii, but their dedication to getting their version right shows in the shave ice's perfectly airy texture and the authentic flavors such as passion fruit and guava.My go-to flavor combo is passion fruit, Blue Hawaii and Melona.

1) Ice Cream at Sweet Rose Creamery:

Sweet Rose Creamery (Mid-City Location)

Sweet Rose Creamery makes small batches of artisanal ice cream with organic, fresh and seasonal ingredients. Overachievers in the best, most delicious way, they even make their cones, toppings and sauces from scratch daily. The cheery, old-fashioned shops in Brentwood, Santa Monica and mid-city are owned by Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan (Rustic Canyon, Huckleberry, Milo and Olive), and the menu of both classic and rotating, seasonal flavors such as Fresh Mint with Homemade Chocolate Chips and Strawberry Rhubarb is the brainchild of chef Shiho Yoshikawa. For good reason, they're perhaps best known for their fresh mint chip. No artificial green coloring or candy-sweet mint flavoring here-- just fresh, natural, homemade goodness.

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