California Dreaming

As fourth year medical students, our last year is filled with time for interviews for residency positions and free time for electives and, most importantly, traveling. We just purchased our airplane tickets to head back to Los Angeles in December and it made us reminisce of the delicious ice-cream treats we had when we were last there in May.

Our favorites are listed below:

  • Salt and Straw (2180 1/2 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91604) 4.5/5

This ice-cream chain originated in Portland, Oregon and found itself multiple homes across Los Angeles. One of the reasons we enjoy Salt and Straw is that the flavors are fresh and seasonal, with its own unique twist. The consistency is creamy and there’s an explosion of flavors in every bite. Our favorite flavors that we tried included the honey lavender and the vegan strawberry coconut sherbert, both tasting fresh and light for a hot, sunny day. Despite it being a hot day, the ice-cream was cool enough to withstand melting through its delicious waffle cone!

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Honey lavender (top) and vegan strawberry coconut sherbet (bottom)

  • Afters Ice Cream (36 West Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801) 3.4/5

Afters Ice Cream is known throughout its California locations as the “Home of the MilkyBun.” Afters offers popular flavors, such as the Jasmine Milk Tea and Cookie Monster, to be sandwiched inside of what is known as their MilkyBun. We tried all of the flavors and instantly loved the Cookie Monster, a blue-colored ice cream that tasted very much like colored vanilla bean ice cream with cookie crunch cereal pieces swirled throughout. We had this placed in the glazed MilkyBun, but quickly discovered that the glazed MilkyBun was nothing more than a glorified glazed donut. One bite of this will send you into a sugar shock – it was entirely too sweet, especially if only one person is eating it. Also, the heat of the MilkyBun melted the ice cream fairly quickly, which made us have to rush to eat it.

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Cookie Monster Ice Cream in Glazed MilkyBun

  • Tea Master Matcha Cafe and Green Tea Shop (450 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012) 5/5

This place serves the best green tea matcha soft serve ice cream that we’ve ever had. Tea Master is a little shop across from the ever-famous Sushi Gen (a restaurant we’ve written about earlier). Although this shop has a small menu full of various teas and smoothies, its claim to fame definitely lies in their matcha soft serve. For less than $4, you’re presented with this beautiful and abundant amount of soft serve ice cream that is dense, creamy, and delicious, with a strong matcha flavor that isn’t overpowering. 

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Matcha soft serve ice cream

  • Cauldron Ice Cream (204 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203) 4.7/5

We love ice cream in puffle cones because it adds a layer of depth, texture, and taste to our ice cream that a traditional waffle cone couldn’t do. What sets Cauldron apart from the rest is that their ice cream is made fresh with liquid nitrogen. We decided to get the Earl Grey Lavender ice cream and immediately finished it within 5 minutes. This flavor was sweet but not overbearing, and it tasted fresh, creamy, and you could really taste the tea-infused flavor. The only reason we couldn’t give this a perfect score is due to the fact that, even though the ice cream is made with liquid nitrogen, against a hot puffle cone the ice cream tends to melt rapidly. We believe that perhaps the rose-shaped ice cream is more prone to melting faster than your regular scoop, so we will probably opt for that the next time we visit.

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Earl grey lavender rose-shaped ice cream in a puffle cone

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