If you live in the Los Angeles area or are visiting this summer, chances are you’ll find yourself at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica at some point. There is one dairy-free dessert that is worth wading through the crowds for: the pink grapefruit sorbet at Caffe Bella, a little kiosk at the corner of Third and Santa Monica Boulevard.
First of all, I love pink grapefruit. I am partial to pink grapefruit sodas (especially San Pellegrino), gummy bears (Bissinger’s are the best), lip balm (Burt’s Bees, yes please), hand soap, dish washing liquid and dishwasher pellets (Method all the way). I will try just about anything if it’s flavored or scented with pink grapefruit.
So even though Caffe Bella has a vast selection of dairy-free sorbets — a whopping twelve flavors — I of course went right for the pink grapefruit. In case you’re curious, some other flavors they had were mandarin, watermelon, lemon, limoncello, and blueberry. They claim that all of the sorbets and gelatos are made fresh daily. I find that hard to believe, but it certainly explains why they’re so insanely expensive. A single scoop will cost you six dollars after tax.
But the scoop I had was delicious. It tasted like real grapefruit, sweet and tart with a slightly bitter aftertaste like zest from the peel. The texture was smooth, not icy, and even the color was an appetizing light pink, not an unnatural neon pink like other pink grapefruit flavored foodstuffs. This sorbet was so satisfying that I didn’t even need to eat the whole thing. Two people could share a single scoop and be fine.
I can’t vouch for any of the other food at Caffe Bella since I haven’t tried it, but the atmosphere of the place is cute. It’s right in the middle of the promenade, so it’s a great spot to sit and people-watch. And they have a trashcan that looks like an ice cream cone! Unnecessary and totally adorable!
After a hot summer day at the beach, I will be sure to swing by the promenade for my pink grapefruit fix. Who needs ice cream sandwiches and milkshakes when you have this heavenly dairy-free concoction?
CAFFE BELLA, 1400 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401