What if your ice cream could be made to order, going from the creamy liquid base to the frozen treat you know and love… in mere seconds?
Look no further, because Ice Cream Lab makes its desserts with liquid nitrogen, freezing your ice cream right before your eyes in a mystical cloud of nitrogen smoke (vapor, if you want to get technical).
What’s even better is that more Southern Californians will get to experience this magical ice cream, because Ice Cream Lab Pasadena opens its doors for its grand opening tomorrow at noon.
The mayor will do the ribbon cutting and they’ll be giving away free ice cream all day. Their ice cream comes in traditional flavors and creative combinations like Salt Lick Crunch, Blue Velvet and Banilla.
A breakdown of each of the three year-round specialty flavors (also shown in the video above):
- Salt Lick Crunch – Organic vanilla bean ice cream blended with crushed salted pretzels and homemade caramel sauce, topped with sea salt
- Blue Velvet – Organic vanilla bean ice cream blended with homemade blue velvet cupcakes and cream cheese frosting
- Banilla – Organic vanilla bean ice cream blended with organic locally grown bananas, homemade caramel sauce and crushed Nilla wafers
I’ve been to the Beverly Hills location a few times, and uncharacteristically (since I usually love to try different things) I end up getting my ultimate favorite, the Salt Lick Crunch, almost every time. I’ve sometimes snuck spoonfuls of other flavors from my friends before, but it was nice to be able to get a taste of the entire original menu at this private pre-opening tasting they hosted for me!
The strawberry had real pieces of strawberries in it, and you could taste the freshness of each of the flavors. However, my ultimate favorite still stands, as the Salt Lick Crunch is just exceptional! The creamy ice cream studded with crunchy, salty pretzel bits just hits the spot… and that drizzle of oozing caramel over the top doesn’t hurt, either. 😉
I also had the chance to go behind the counter to see up-close how they make their ice cream, and boy is that liquid nitrogen cold… between -346°F and -320.44°F to be exact! You can check out the crazy amounts of liquid nitrogen smoke in action in the 1-minute video above.
The staff was friendly and warm, and the decor is similar to the larger Beverly Hills location, with quirky graffiti-style murals in icy blue tones. The interior is otherwise sleek and white, fitting well with the molecular gastronomy theme of their product.
What I love most about Ice Cream Lab is that they use locally sourced fresh ingredients that you can see and taste — none of those suspicious-looking artificially flavored and colored bottles spotted at some other liquid nitrogen ice cream spots. They also use kosher ingredients and don’t use any additives. Can’t complain about that!
Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry and Cookies & Cream are also on the menu, with vegan options like sorbets and more to come, including a seasonal vegan pumpkin flavor. After a few weeks, the Pasadena location will be serving seasonal flavors too, like the Beverly Hills location now does.
Birthday tip: They give you a free waffle cone on your special day, as well as a free Ice Cream Lab tote bag. Check out the other swag they have in the video above!
The second Ice Cream Lab, opening in Old Town, is located at 16 S. Fair Oaks Ave. Pasadena, CA. You can also check out the Ice Cream Lab website for more information.
Ice Cream Lab also plans to open a third location in Little Tokyo in the near future. The Pasadena grand opening is tomorrow, so get yourself some ice cream… because it’s always ice cream season here in L.A.