Carmela’s Ice Cream, frequently cited as one of the best in Los Angeles, got its start selling their artisan ice cream in farmers markets – an appropriate location as they source many of their ingredients from the very same markets. My mom has raved about their salted caramel ice cream for years. In fact, I suspect Carmela’s may have been the primary reason for her weekly farmers market pilgrimages.
Carmela’s opened their first storefront in Pasadena and has since expanded to two other locations, one in Woodland Hills and this location across the corner from the original Farmers Market.
As coincidence would have it, my family all wanted the Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean, including me. After trying it, I could see why – the ice cream was sweet, but not overly so, with undertones of brown sugar. The Matcha Green Tea, with its use of matcha powder, had a significantly stronger green tea flavor than the typical one served in Japanese restaurants.
The Mint Cacao Nib ice cream, which had fresh mint leaves, packed a minty punch. Unlike those dyed green mint ice creams, this one was a creamy white accented with cacao nibs and left a tingle in my mouth. I ultimately decided on the Dark Chocolate Cacao Nibs – perfectly smooth and chocolatey, with the bonus of the bitter cacao nibs.
A single scoop runs $4.75, but it’s a generous scoop. I had been fairly hungry after eating a not-so-filling lunch, but after eating my ice cream, I felt pleasantly satiated.
For those vegans or lactose-intolerant, Carmela’s has dairy-free sorbets as well. If you’re not fortunate to live near one of their storefront locations, it’s worth checking to see if they’re a vendor at your closest farmers market. Not only would you be supporting a local Los Angeles company, you’d be supporting local farmers, whose products are used in the ice cream. If eating ice cream can be considered a good deed, count me in.
Location – 7920 W. Third Street, Los Angeles 90048. Additional locations in Pasadena and Woodland Hills and at farmers markets.
Website – http://carmelaicecream.com
Kid Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Vegan Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes