My friend Matt opened Scoops Westside late last year in the Palms neighborhood of West Los Angeles. He has adored Tai Kim’s ice creams since his undergraduate days at USC, and wanted to bring this exceptional product to Westside residents. If this branch proves to be a success, Matt hopes to spread the Scoops brand across town.
The Astronomer and I swung by the shop after brunching nearby at Friache. We aren’t very familiar with the area and drove pass the store several times before finally figuring it out. For those similarly lost, look for a big sign advertising “Overland Plaza.” Otherwise, it’s quite easy to miss.
Early reports filed by bloggers and Yelpers whined about the shop’s plain Jane walls and lack of ambiance, but that wasn’t the case when I visited. The space was painted a splashy shade of lime, while the walls were adorned with vintage illustrations by David Venezky. The vibe was cool, but not too cool for school, if you know what I mean.
In the center of the room was a mesmerizing plastic spoon mobile made by the same artist who designed the one at the original Scoops on Heliotrope.
Scoops Westside offers seven flavors each day—six change on a daily basis, while “brown brown bread” (made with Grape Nuts cereal, dulce de leche ice cream, and caramel) is a menu mainstay. The six variable flavors are announced via Twitter and on Facebook. All the ice creams are made by Tai Kim on Heliotrope and picked up by Matt every morning.
The Astronomer and I sampled a myriad of flavors before deciding our creamy fates.
Matt ended up insisting that we indulge in a scoop of every flavor available. The first bowl contained black sesame banana, roasted rice cheesecake, blueberry pomegranate, and brown brown bread.
I liked every flavor that I tasted, but I especially loved the black sesame banana and the roasted rice cheesecake. The former reminded me of a cold and creamy rendition of che chuoi (a Vietnamese dessert of bananas and coconut milk topped with toasted sesame seeds), while the latter tasted exactly like the roasted rice powder that’s eaten with Vietnamese salads. Awesome!
The second bowl contained miso cheesecake, pandan coconut, and a non-dairy piña colada. My favorite of the trio was the spot-on pandan coconut. After eating many green desserts masquerading as pandan, it was refreshing to finally taste the real deal. Matt was right, Tai Kim really is an ice cream making genius.
The Astronomer and I added two suggestions to the “flavour” board before departing nearly two hours later. I’d like to see an interpretation of yogurt-covered pretzels, while he wants to try red grape a la Capogiro. We hope that Tai can come through for us.
3400 Overland Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90034