Restaurants & Bars

San Francisco Bay Area Ice Cream

Petaluma: Lala's Creamery - The old-fashioned ice cream parlor reborn - phospates, parfaits, black cows, Straus cream


Restaurants & Bars San Francisco Bay Area Ice Cream

Petaluma: Lala's Creamery - The old-fashioned ice cream parlor reborn - phospates, parfaits, black cows, Straus cream

rworange | | Apr 24, 2009 10:14 PM

Across the street from Della Frattora is a new .. old-fashioned ice cream store.

The ice cream is made on-site using Straus cream. What is so brilliant about this place is they pay respect to the classic ice cream parlor. It is not some modern take on it with irony or even a faux type of thing. It IS an old fashioned ice cream parlor.

There is a long cool grey marble counter with stools There are lots of tables with cane chairs. They keep the flavors simple ... no bacon maple syrup concoction here.

Some flavors are seasonal and will change. Currently there is vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, butter pecan, rocky road, rum raisin, coffee, cookies and cream. As wild as it gets flavor-wise is grasshopper, bubblegum, choco-raspberry and green tea.

The sorbets have the word 'ultra' in front and include strawberry, mango and coco loco.

There are sundaes that include hot fudge and tin roof. Shakes, malts, banana splits, root beer floats and black and whites are also served.

The website says they will have cookies, cupcakes and other desserts. They've only been open a week and are still in opening mode. Some of the flavors are still a work in progress. My understanding is that the grasshopper was toned down a bit mint-wise.

Also, trust me on this. It IS an old-fashioned ice cream parlor because the next thing I'm going to write will make it seem not so and I just don't want to spend time defending this point. GO there and judge for yourself before jumping to conclusions. It's the kind of place you'd almost expect to see Jimmy Stewart scooping up ice cream for Donna Reed (or at least the kids who portrayed them in It's a Wonderful Life").

I had the coffee and rum raisin ice cream along with a phosphate ... a raspberry lavendar phospate .. it was the fanciest thing there. Most of the phosphates were straight-up flavors like cherry.

The rum raisin was lovely and smooth with enough raisins. The coffee was delicious, but I think they should just use the coffee and not add ground up beans. It made it a little too gritty and took away from the pleasantness.

The sample I liked best was the peanut butter and jelly. Too many ice creams don't taste true to those flavors and this did. The mango sorbet did not taste artificial as many do, but the sample was not enough to make a decision if I liked it. It is lightly flavored. The cookies and cream was a good version of that flavor ... at least from the sample.

The raspberry lavendar phospate was very refreshing and adding rasberry was a good thought. Lavendar on its own can be soapy, so the raspberry toned that down. Still, don't order this flavor unless you like lavendar. Go for one of the other flavors.

The selzer and root beer is from Greer's. Can't find anything about them on the web, but they are local to the area.

The staff is young, very pleasant, and seem to influence some of the flavors. One of the ladies came up with the idea for peanut butter and jelly and the owner's son and another guy thought the raspberry lavender combo was nice for the phosphate.

It seems this idea came about when the family visited an Amish ice cream parlor in Arizona about eight years ago. Yes, there are Amish in Arizona ... sort of

Anyway, the dad had the idea to sometime open an ice cream place like that and eventually bought some ice cream machines and started to learn the craft.

This is no Humprhy-Slocombe or Bi-Rite. I like Baksin Robbins better than Ici, so can't compare there. I'd say it is on par with Petaluma Creamery with more flavors.

The website says in the future they plan to host kid's birthday parties where the kids can make their own sundaes.

And that's the thing about the place. It is ice cream for kids ... and adults ... not adult ice cream that sophisticated urban kids can also enjoy. It is a family joint without dumbing it down. It is just a nice old-fasioned ice cream parlor.

Lala's Creamery
134 Petaluma Blvd, Petaluma, CA

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