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Restaurants & Bars 12

saffron rosewater ice cream

Thi N. | May 15, 200210:28 PM

And, because Samo mentioned it and no-one picked up on it - why the hell has nobody talked about Mashti Malone's on this board? Is it such common knowledge that one feels embarrassed to bring it up?

Anyway - for anyone who has not been - Mashti Malone's is a little - er, Persian? - ice cream place on La Brea right above Sunset. Best things there that I've had: saffron rosewater pistachio ice cream (confusingly referred to alternately as the saffron ice cream or the pistachio ice cream, but it's the same thing), ginger rosewater ice cream, creamy rosewater ice cream.

Absolutely pure, happy flavors. None of the muddiness/oversugaredness that I associate with bad ice cream around here. The saffron pistachio ice cream tastes very much of saffron, which is, in the quantities here, surprisingly warm, like a roasty vanilla - which rides happily hand-in-hand with the pistachios.

Favorite is the creamy rosewater, though - this flavor I truly cannot describe, except to say it is very good rosewater, and it is balanced with the right amount of sugar, and it is quite creamy, though not too fatty in the fashion of bad imitation-Vermont ice cream. (Ice cream around here is either too airy/whipped for my tastes, a la supermarket Breyer's, or feels like sucking on a ball of cold lard. This is right.)

This is the first time since my Boston Herrell's/Toscanini's/Christina's days that I have found happy ice cream.

I think, perhaps, too often the flavor loaded onto the ice cream doesn't really take advantage of its existence as ice cream. The chocolate is too intensely chocolate, and doesn't coexist comfortably with the coldness and creaminess of the ice cream. All the rosewater flavors, in their lightness and aroma, are very comfortable being ice cream.

Er, there are non-rosewater flavors too - there's some New Times cut-out posted in the restaurant about the wonder of the pecan pralines - but honestly, I couldn't speak about them, because I've never been able to tear myself away from it.

And Samo took me there for the first time, so I have to send him undying gratitude for that one.

Final question: does anyone know if this stuff is standard-fusion-fare, a la green tea ice cream, or if Mashti's is the world center for it?


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