Pretty Cool is super awesome

Hi hi hi!!!!! Just so you know, once the zoning permit goes through I’ll be moving into an apartment upstairs from Pretty Cool Ice Cream so that I won’t have to cry myself to sleep each time I miss a new collab or, you know, just miss eating an ice cream bar in general.

Love the ice cream truck? Who doesn’t?! But not totally nostalgic for the fakeyfake flavors? Who is?! Pretty Cool has you covered with truck pops like Concord grape, sour cherry or fire cracker.

Wish you were on a beach? P.C. got you again with their passion fruit or mango lassi buttermilk bars.

Want ice cream but also pie?? Yeah, duh. Get one of their Bang Bang piecicle bars like strawberry rhubarb or key lime or banana cream.

Are you 5 years old and want your own pop but will get bored in 3 min and/or plan to drop it on the floor? The pony pop is the pop for you, and you can pick pink lemonade, chocolate custard, cider, strawberry buttermilk, vanilla or grape. SO MANT CHOICES.

Not feeling fruity but feeling fancy? How about s’mores or rainbow chip or horchata crunch or coffee pretzel toffee or peanut butter potato chip or caramel cake or orange confetti or or or or………

EVERYTHING IS GOOD. The wrapper art is good. The wall art is good. The magnet letter wall and wooden bleachers are good insure that everyone is occupado and able to eat their treat in relative peace.

Like I said, I’m moving in ASAP and my doors will be open until 10pm each night.

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Sunday Study Sundae

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A single scoop – normal. A double scoop – hey now. A triple scoop – whoawhoawhoa. A quadruple scoop – who even does that unless you’re Napoleon via Bill and Ted??!?!? But if Jeni’s understands one thing, it’s that it’s hard to pick just one flavor. Which is why you can ask for unlimited tastes (doled out by always smiling faces), and when you order 4 scoops they call it a “study,” not a “fatfatty,” and simply ask cone/cup/cookie with that? (also they make you feel less crazy by calling their scoops “half scoops,” but who are we kidding? these are normal size)

And so for this Sunday’s breakfast, I was an ice cream academic doing full coursework on summer flavors. Having had an unusually indoored summer this year, it was lovely to run through a sprinkler, visit a farm, go to the drive-in, lay out at the Cape and run through meadows all in the span of 35min.

Watermelon Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt – if Jeni’s shut down all flavor production and closed all but one shop and was just left with a little hut selling this one flavor in some off-road middle-of-nowhere town, there will still be a line out the door. It’s like childhood sour taffy but fresh and refreshing (like running through front lawn sprinklers while chasing the ice cream truck down the block).

Sweet Corn & Black Raspberries – reminds me of my summers spent on the farm….jk jk, maybe I’ve actually never been to a farm? But I did summer around a lot of corn and pick wild black raspberries when hiking in the woods, so basically this ice cream is Midwest at its best (sans mosquitoes).

Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk – if ever a strawberry milkshake could give you a hug, this is what it would be like. And then you just get a blanket in the backseat of some car at the drive-in and get down to business.

Lemon and Blueberries Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt – if you’re at Jeni’s and having a hard time deciding on a scoop of the whole lemon sorbet or the ultramarine, let me give you a pro tip: get a scoop of this instead bc it’s the best of both worlds. Tart tart with sweet and jammy berry ribbons, each bite is a bright shock with a smooth, calm finish – much like the recurring cold shock of entering the freezing ocean on a boiling day.

Honorary shout out to Ylang Ylang & Fennel – who didn’t entirely match the fruity study flavor profile, but was like running through a spicy, flowery, golden summer meadow all the same.

A+++++

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Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

5 stars for Blue Star

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Let’s talk about what may very well be my new fave donut. Like even after I’ve been eating donuts all day long with a few ice cream cones thrown in for good measure, I still want more of this donut. Who would have guessed??

A recentish transplant to the LA donut scene, I welcome Blue Star with open mouth arms. For my first trip there, I had to see what’s what, so I tried one of every donut base: old fashioned, raised, frittered, filled. And every one was excellent. Every one. Every one was like whoa.

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What do we have here? Oh just a raised donut with zippy passion fruit glaze and a dusting of spicy cocoa nibs next to a chunky hard apple cider fritter clockwising on down to a vanilla bean custard filled crème brûlée situation with a do-it-yourself pipette of Cointreau and then landing onto my new bff: lemon poppy buttermilk old fashioned (perfectly fried – not overly greasy; perfectly glazed – bright and citrusy and not saccharine sweet; perfectly buttermilky – light and fluffy and tangy; and then poppy seeds – perfectly pretty bc what else is their point?).

You read that all correctly: passion fruit. hard cider. Cointreau pipette. bff of seemingly the most normal donut on the block. Want to read some more? Get a load of what Blue Star says on their own website: “Our donuts are made from a classic brioche recipe that originated in the south of France. The dough takes 18 hours to make and is made from scratch every day; we start with a sustainable bread flour from Shepherds Grain, add cage free eggs, whole hormone-free milk, and then fold in a European-style butter. Our donuts, glazes, and fillings are made fresh throughout the day, and we only cook our donuts in rice oil.” Wut.

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So now basically stop reading and head over to Abbot Kinney and get yourself a box. Or maybe wait until the morning so you’re not sad if you’re too late now and they’re sold out already. Also, fyi, there is no counter inside, but also, fyi, there is a newspaper stand/box about 4 sidewalk squares down the street that looks like it was placed there for the sole purpose of being a donut table. (and also you can get these in Portland or Tokyo….and that’s it)

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Voodoo Doughnut saves the day!

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Voodoo Doughnut is from Portland. I was in Denver. Glazed and Confused is in Denver. It was Monday. Glazed and Confused is closed on Monday. Thank the donut angels that Voodoo is now also in Denver (and open 24/7). And so the story continues…..

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The hype is real. With a rotating donut case (next time I’ll be smarter and take a video), merch plastered on the walls, and a laminated “Top 10” list of best sellers next to the (cash only) register, maybe I was a bit worried that these donuts wouldn’t stand up to all the lore.

Oh but fear not! Not only does Voodoo dazzle with crazy enormous specimens like the cock-n-balls and Tex-Ass challenge (both so so big…. too big? maybe. maybe best to have a three-way with those cock-n-balls), and have exciting flavors like the Bubble (finished with bubblegum dust and a piece of Dubble Bubble) and the Memphis Mafia (a fritter with banana chunks and cinnamon covered in chocolate frosting and peanut butter), they also have the classics: cruellers, old fashioneds and buttermilk bars. Both the crazies and the regs are well-executed with delicious attention to detail (so your grandma doesn’t have to order an Old Dirty Bastard donut to go along with her morning coffee – oh but what if she did?? yesssss). In short, Voodoo is worth a stop.

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Back to Monday: Planes needed to be caught. Breakfast had to be eaten. A difficult decision had to be made.

Decision: one enormous peach fritter, a maple bacon bar (bc breakfast, and bc that bacon was perfect), a Portland cream (pouring one out for the original), a buttermilk bar (hot tip from cashier girl), a maple blunt (good for more than just a photo op!), a chocolate coconut cake (bc chocolate, bc coconut, bc duh), and, but of course, a Voodoo doll (with a pretzel “pin” and raspberry jam guts!).

I’ll be returning for the Mexican hot chocolate doughnut and some dirty snowballs some day, but until the next Denver/Portland trip, I will have my pink box memories to keep me full.

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Voodoo Doughnut Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday vibes for an unlaborious Labor Day weekend

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What better way to start a long weekend than with a box of donuts? No better way.

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Upon driving past Carmella’s Creme Donuts, you think: Great! Carmella’s is still here! Then you think: Oh shit – Carmella’s looks vacant and dilapidated and definitely not happening. And thennnn you think: But the Open sign is on the door, sooo???

Don’t be fooled by the peeling paint, overgrown shrubs or taped/wired drive-thru menu – Carmella’s is still making fresh donuts every day! (they’re open every day from something crazy like 5:30am to something afternoony like 3pm) The broke-down drive-thru window is even still in service – broadcasting your order through the intercom like a voice straight from 1986.

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They’ve got all the classics: long johns, maple glazed, sugar raised, chocolate chocolate, buttermilk plus their version of a Boston Cream: Angel Cream (sweet). I’m no coffee know-it-all, but their coffee is on point and has that bright acidity that all the hipster coffee houses are going for these days.

This might not be the best metaphor whilst eating, but you know when you take a shower in a grimy tub but still emerge clean? Well, I’m not saying Carmella’s is grimy (it’s not… I don’t think…? It’s not.), but you will be amazed at the delicious freshness delivered through these shuttered doors.

9am honorable mention: the foodie family at the table next to me already planning tonight’s dinner. They decided to leave it – they wanted to maintain some element of surprise in their day.

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Carmella's Creme Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Donut Destinations

There is just something about a roadside attraction that is extra attractive to me. And a roadside attraction built in the name of treats requires a detour/pilgrimage for sure. Even when you know where you’re headed, when a house-sized donut appears, how can you not pull over and cheer??!

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Donut landmark #1: The Donut Hole in La Puente. I might say this is the theme park of donuts because you have to drive through a huge donut to order! And when the “ride” is over, you have a box of goodies to show for it instead of a $25 crap picture of you screaming, eyes closed atop a rollercoaster. Better.

Here we basically ordered one of everything (except no cereal donuts, because who cares). Pro tip: drive across the street to the post office parking lot to kick back and stuff your face. Pro Pro tip: put your box of donuts on top of the hood of your car, because you probably were just driving for an hour so your engine is hot, and the heat will warm the box making your donuts hot like they are extra fresh out of the fryer. Standout flavors: blueberry cake, apple fritter, and anything with chocolate frosting because the chocolate is real and rich and tastes like a Tootsie Roll! (flavor to skip: the lemon because it tastes like Skittles goo)

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( ^ ordering in action. not pictured: the 1ft wide round glazed donut that could be a donut angel halo/would definitely make an acceptable bday cake – my bday is in February, order ahead.)

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Donut landmark #2: Randy’s Donuts in Inglewood. If I’m ever driving to/from LAX, I am also driving to/from Randy’s. No passenger has ever complained (though most often, the only passenger is myself). This is a drive-up stand, but I like to walk up so that I can really see what looks good before I order. Everything always looks good. If you get nothing else (why are you here???!!?), order the apple fritter. This is THE BEST apple fritter in the land: spiced apple crispy chewy enormous. The buttermilk is also amazing: dense but light and tastes like a hint of coconut somehow. They fill the custard donuts on order. The Devil’s Food is better the next day, if you can manage to save it until the next day. The wheat & honey is a lovely light cake donut, not a health food snuck into the menu.