The Scoops ice cream counter in Los Angeles.
Locale: 712 North Heliotrope Drive, 323-906-2649
The Scoop: Tai Kim, art and culinary school graduate, earned his bachelor’s degree from CalArts, then later enrolled at Portland’s Western Culinary Institute. Applying his passion and knowledge for art and food, Kim opened Scoops, just behind Los Angeles City College, in 2005. His imaginative twists on frozen treats earned Scoops a cult following.
The Process: Scoops creates its unique gelato, sherbert and sorbet flavors by infusing the flavors via a two-day process—first mixing large batches of flavor-neutral bases and then adding Kim’s unique signature home-brewed flavors and tinctures.
Crazy Combinations: The 18-bin freezer case teems with flavors only an artist could dream up. The most popular is brown bread, made with crunchy Grape Nuts and caramel—and the combinations only get weirder from there. Try the mint nicotine (made from a nicotine gum, not menthol heaters), goat cheese and lavender, or the indulgent banana, peanut butter and bacon.
Taste Tests: If the flavor assortments blow your mind (and they will), don’t sweat it. Kim encourages sampling. And if you still can’t narrow it down, order a few different kinds. One scoop will set you back two bucks, and each additional—no matter the flavor—is just a buck more. Still hungry? Refills are offered for a dollar.