30 Scoops in 30 Days: Scoops Westside (Day 1)
In the six chilly months since Scoops Westside opened, the strip mall ice cream shop has become something of a hub for West LA's food bloggerati. Proprietor Matt Kang (a.k.a. Mattatouille) knows his audience, and he does a good job playing to them. There's Intelligentsia coffee at the ready, weighed precisely and pour-over brewed to fuel long blog posts about the latest cocktail craze or cheeky missives about the failures of Korean cuisine.
Kang has done a nice job sprucing up the space, which once resembled a defunct laundromat. There's a counter where you can munch on your baroque Chego rice bowl (conveniently located just up the street), a few tables where you might try to get some work done and a couch where you can contemplate the mobile of oversized gelato spoons dangling overhead. If only there was a dish of ice cream big enough to accompany them.
Question: does Scoops Westside sell ice cream or gelato? We keep hearing it described as the latter, and it's certainly fluffy like gelato, but it has a grainy texture more common to ice cream. We're happy to think of it as the bastard love child of the two, not that it matters. People don't come here to parse ice cream texture, they come for the latest creations of Scoops' mad genius, owner Tai Kim, who has earned his chapter in L.A. ice cream history with the Scoops flagship on Heliotrope.
Scoops Westside only has room for six flavors, so it doesn't approach the experimental breadth of the original location, but you'll often find flavors like jasmine chocolate, blueberry tea that actually tastes of blueberries and tea and Oreo cookie ice cream that's shockingly creamy for not being made with any dairy. Not everything, like the highly salted Salty Chocolate, works, but the flavors are always interesting.
We can't get enough of Brown Brown Bread, a concentrated dose of Scoops' popular Brown Bread flavor. On the westside, this vanilla-based ice cream turns sweeter, richer, more caramel-centric and more aggressively dosed with Grape Nuts cereal. Because it's the healthy part of a balanced breakfast. Whatever it is, Kang is doing something right, because Scoops Westside often sells out on Friday and Saturday nights. Come early, stay late.