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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Here's the Scoops

We headed back to Scoops this weekend for the first time since we tried the ice cream joint last year... and we're in love all over again.

Last year, we got milkshakes. (Remember our "Summer of Shakes"?) This year, we stuck with straight-up scooped ice cream. And ho boy, were we in for a surprise.

At Scoops, owner Tai Kim has come up with a confusing-at-first-but-ultimately-brilliant way of selling scoops of ice cream. In Tai's bizarro math, one scoop actually equals two. In other words, if you order one scoop (at $2.50), you actually can try two different flavors of his equally bizarro ice cream creations.

In Tai's world, "One scoop plus one" then means four scoops at $3. You with me? And "One scoop plus two"? Yep, six scoops ($3.50). You're catching on, wise one.

I went for three scoops -- er, I mean "one scoop plus 1/2" (which is not on the menu, but available for $2.75).

And Evan went for the kid cone -- $1.75 -- which means one scoop.

The scoops aren't huge, but that's the point. Tai wants you to sample many, many of his unique and fascinating flavors.

Maria, for example, tried Black Currant/Ricotta (yum) and Chocolate Hazelnut. Evan ate Marscapone (yes, we chose it for him, Evan's palate isn't that progressive on its own). And I tried Vanilla Bean/Jim Beam; Black Truffle/Maple; and Peppermint Tiramisu.

The winner? Probably the black truffle and maple. Yes -- truffle as in mushrooms. Amazing pairing with the subtle maple flavor.

Actually, subtlety is what Scoops ice cream is all about. And why the strange flavors work. Tai doesn't smack you in the face with some far-out flavor, he gently introduces it to the frozen confection world.

Check out our visit last year, when we ordered shakes.

Scoops, 712 N. Heliotrope Drive, Los Angeles

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