Summer’s coming to a close, which means that I’m eating all the dairy-free ice cream I want and telling myself it’s okay because it’s the last huzzah. In actuality, summer in Southern California lasts until October or so, but we have to find some excuse for our vices, right?
There’s no dearth of artisanal ice cream shops in the Los Angeles area, and most of them offer some dairy-free options. This is how spoiled I am: If an ice cream shop has three or fewer dairy-free flavors, I don’t consider it special. And if it only has sorbets and no “creamy” flavors, I’m like, “What good are you?”
So when I stopped in at Sweet Rose Creamery in Studio City, I was pleased to find that they had five dairy-free/vegan flavors, and two of them were of the “creamy” variety.
I sampled all five flavors from cute little metal spoons (they get bonus points for not using disposables), and they were all good, with the exception of the vanilla coconut which I didn’t like because it contained flakes of coconut. Coconut flakes have a waxy texture that I do not enjoy.
The fruit sorbets were all fresh and smooth. But the dark chocolate was the clear winner. Despite its creamy texture, it contains no milk or cream of any kind. It’s just chocolate and water — essentially a sorbet. But you’ll swear it has cream in it!
This dark chocolate ice cream was a lot like the chocolate sorbet from Il Gelato at Eataly, but the atmosphere at Sweet Rose Creamery is much more relaxing and interesting. It’s a tiny storefront on a pedestrian-friendly stretch of Tujunga Avenue, not far from the Italian restaurant where overdue pregnant women go to eat a salad that’s supposed to make you go into labor, and just a few blocks from that other Italian restaurant where Robert Blake (allegedly) killed his wife. How’s that for neighborhood character?
In case you’re curious, here are the not dairy-free flavors offered at Sweet Rose Creamery on the day I visited. Pretty standard fare, other than the grape buttermilk sherbet (sounds weird but intriguing) and the blueberry muffin. The flavors change each month, so if you’re in the mood for something specific, you might want to call or check online first.
And by the way, the cones are dee-licious. I usually get my ice cream in a cup because I hate it when melting ice cream drips down my hand, but this time I threw caution to the wind and got a mini cone and I’m so glad I did. There’s something about eating ice cream from a cone that brings you right back to childhood.
And having sticky hands gave me an excuse to visit the restroom out back. There’s an adorable little courtyard with ivy covered walls and picnic tables where you can eat your ice cream and watch movies on Wednesday nights. More bonus points for creating community activities!
I will definitely be stopping by the next time I’m in the neighborhood — or at one of their other locations — and hoping that they bring back the vegan horchata I read about on Yelp. Sí, por favor.
SWEET ROSE CREAMERY, 4377 Tujunga Ave., Los Angeles, CA 91604