Review: Carmela Ice Cream Co.

Any New West student knows that September and October are always hot. What’s a better way to withstand the heat than to cool off with a delectable scoop of ice cream! I would consider Carmela Ice Cream Co. on Third Street near the Grove to be one of the best ice creameries in Los Angeles. Jessica Mortarotti and her husband Zach Cox started Carmela Ice Cream Co. in 2007 to make artisanal and handmade ice cream with local ingredients. Their ice cream parlors throughout Los Angeles and Pasadena serve frozen desserts that will satisfy the foodies and the casual eaters in your family.

Third Street location’s menu board for the month of September (flavors are seasonal)

The staff in the ice creamery were welcoming and willingly offered their opinions on the best of Carmela’s seasonal flavors. They provided each guest with multiple samples to help curious customers decide which flavor they should order, from the extensive list of both traditional and unusual ice creams. Carmela’s Brown Sugar Vanilla ice cream was smooth with overwhelmingly velvet-like Madagascar vanilla and hints of warm sugar. The Classic Rocky Road consisted of a rich dark chocolate base surrounding chopped roasted walnuts and soft vanilla marshmallow bites. The Lavender Honey ice cream was thick yet delicate, with strong herbal and floral notes from lavender flowers and sugary honey. Along with ice creams, Carmela Ice Cream Co. also has dairy-free sorbets. Carmela’s Heirloom Tomato Sorbet was a fragrant harmony of fresh, honeyed tomatoes and pleasant basil. The ice creams’ ingredients are unprocessed and farm-fresh, which are valued qualities in foods and desserts throughout the diverse and trendy populous of Los Angeles.

single scoops of Heirloom Tomato Sorbet and Classic Rocky Road

There is a trade-off for Carmela Ice Cream Co.’s local and natural products. Although I believe Carmela’s has some of the finest frozen treats in the city, the ice cream comes at a steep price. A single scoop is close to $6.00, with cones for an additional $1.25 and many toppings listed at $1.00. Sundaes and and soda floats cost between $9.00 and $10.00, and milkshakes are priced near $11.00. It’s understandable why one wouldn’t want to splurge for fancy vanilla ice cream with brown sugar when a quart of Trader Joe’s French Vanilla Ice Cream can be purchased for $3.99 across the street. But someone doesn’t go to a supermarket for the ambiance or the unbelievably natural products that are homemade by staff who truly enjoy and understand their craft. Also, past the walk-in freezer door, there’s a not-so-secret annex in the back with a vintage photo booth and an Instagram-worthy room that has interactive chalkboard walls. This lounge is spacious and is a relaxing place to finish a waffle cone full of mouthwatering frozen goodness. Carmela Ice Cream Co. is for the customer who wants a fun experience and tasty dessert that never disappoints.

Visit the Carmela Ice Cream Co. website here.

Featured Image credit: Image by Celeste V. via yelp review

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