Ice cream is it, everyone. Los Angeles has moved on from frozen yogurt and is ready for the big guns. The big full-fat guns. And the ice cream stores that are appearing all over the county are offering an excellent product, luckily for us. Here are just a smattering of good options -- what are your frozen confection favorites?
Fair Oaks Pharmacy: This South Pasadena institution has been around for about 100 years. They use Fosselman's and other nice-quality purveyors for the ice cream, which they use to make enormous classic treats, such as sundaes of every variety, phosphates, and egg creams. It's the only vintage pharmacy soda fountain in the area (though De Soto Pharmacy in Canoga Park is faking the retro vibe very well), and it's worth a pilgrimage.
ICDC: Mariah Swan is an accomplished pastry chef, and she's long specialized in elevated comfort food. This shop offers ice cream, donuts, and coffee (all combined, if you want); but everything is made in-house, from the fluffernutter donuts to the strawberry basil sorbet.
McConnell's: This Santa Barbara-based mini-chain has a location in Grand Central Market now, and for that we are thankful. They offer a lot of flavors that make use of Southern California's bounty, from strawberries to to almonds. The milk is from California cows, too. Definitely try the Eureka lemon and marionberry flavor.
Salt & Straw This Portland import has lines coming out their Larchmont doors at all hours. They're very high-quality and offer some unusual flavors (I think they started the fennel-as-dessert trend), including savory varieties. They often do collaboration with chefs: Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger did a green corn tamale flavor; Roy Choi contributed a "Korean Fluffernutter" with boiled peanuts, spicy blackberry jam, and marshmallow.
Coolhaus: Coolhaus was ahead of their time when they started selling their fancy ice cream sandwiches a few years back. They're having a bit of a resurgence in popularity now, since ice cream is top of mind for food nerds around L.A. Absolutely worth tracking down.
Churro Borough: Everyone loves a gimmick, especially a high-calorie one. The churros here aren't sticks -- they've re-imagined them as cookie-like disks, perfect ends to an ice cream sandwich. They ice cream flavors stand alone, too, especially the sorbets like coconut lime and lemon pomegranate.