Sweet Rose Creamery is a place where pedigree ingredients and a small batch method really do translate directly into pure flavor. Head chef Shiho Yoshikawa takes her inspiration (and sometimes ingredients) from seasonal produce available at local farmers markets. And from someone with prior experience at places such as Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, I expected something above ordinary.
I tried the Mint Chip ($5.50 for two small scoops), one of five Classic flavors you can always find on the menu. This flavor is not just good; it puts other mint chip ice creams to shame. The texture is creamy and velvety, with a dense richness that makes a small scoop just the right amount. The chocolate pieces are made in house, but unlike other mint chip ice creams you have tried in the past, the real star here is the mint. Forget that artificial mint flavor you find in candies and lesser quality ice creams. Here, fresh organic mint is steeped in the custard base so that each spoonful is like biting into a sprig of mint pulled straight from the pot. Between the mint and the soft, creamy texture, I found myself taking bite after bite.
All the ice cream at Sweet Rose is made in small batches each morning, to ensure maximum freshness and flavor. I plan to return to try other flavors (dairy-free black sesame delight with Meiji Tofu soy milk, I have my eye on you). But I have a feeling I'll end up asking for the Mint Chip again. It's that good.
Sweet Rose CreameryThe Brentwood Country Mart, 225 26th Street, Suite 51, Santa Monica, CA 90402; (map) (310) 260-2663;www.sweetrosecreamery.com
About the author: Sarah Woo is a pasture-raised, California girl paired with slow-grilled Santa Maria tri-tip and piquant Korean kimchi. Check out her kitchen adventures at Winner Celebration Party. You can also follow her on Twitter at @wcpartyparty.