Slideshow SLIDESHOW: First Look: Carmela Ice Cream, Los Angeles

[Photographs: Rachel Leeson]

Note: First Looks give previews of new dishes, drinks, and menus we're curious about. Since they are arranged photo shoots and interviews with restaurants, we do not make critical evaluations or recommendations.

When Jessica Mortarotti and Zach Cox first dreamt up the idea of starting an ice cream business, they knew they wanted to do so because they were, of course, passionate about ice cream; on the other hand, they didn't necessarily know all that much about actually making ice cream, especially the type of quality ice cream they wanted their forthcoming business to be known for. Nonetheless, with a strong passion, a clear concept, and the patience to learn how to make the frozen treat completely from scratch, Jessica and Zach began experimenting. Their homes became their test kitchens and their friends and family members became their taste testers. Today, Jessica and Zach can proudly say they're self-taught ice cream makers, as well as successful entrepreneurs.

Carmela Ice Cream debuted in 2007 at local farmers markets, and you can still grab a scoop at the Hollywood farmers market on Sundays and the South Pasadena farmers market on Thursdays. After garnering attention for its organic, homemade ice creams (even the bases are all made from scratch), Carmela Ice Cream opened their first shop to an elated Pasadena crowd just two years ago. With only rave reviews coming their way, the Carmela team opened their second shop on February 18th on West Third Street in LA, a perfectly fitting street filled with cute boutiques and restaurants to match Carmela's charming décor.

Like its sister location, Carmela's West Third Street location also serves a selection of garden-inspired rotating flavors, like Lemon Basil or Strawberry Buttermilk, along with their classic five flavors: Salted Caramel, Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean, Dark Chocolate Cacao Nib, Mint Cacao Nib, and Lavender Honey. All of the ice cream is homemade in their Pasadena shop's creamery and then delivered to West Third Street in the morning. A single scoop costs $3.75, with each additional scoop thereafter an additional $1. Waffle cones and cups are made onsite and are worth the extra $1.

Click through the slideshow to see inside the scoop shop, current flavors, and more.

Carmela Ice Cream

7920 West Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (map)

About the author: Rachel Leeson is the biggest fan of Nutella and Peanut Butter & Co.'s Cinnamon Raisin Swirl peanut butter. She lived in New York City for four years and learned one thing: L.A.'s year round sunshine cannot be beat; In-N-Out doesn't hurt either. You can follow her on Twitter @RachelDLeeson


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