Smitten Ice Cream started in a red Radio Flyer wagon, selling on the streets of San Francisco. Not only was the wagon unique, but the ice cream was made-to-order and flash-frozen on the spot using liquid nitrogen. Since its humble beginnings, Smitten Ice Cream has expanded to nine permanent locations including one at the Westfield Century City, all using their patented Brrr machines (although the red wagon is still part of their logo).
Since each machine is devoted to a single flavor, the flavor choices are limited to just six, ranging from classic vanilla to the more exotic Earl Grey, with several toppings to pair with your ice cream.
Each machine has a carafe with the ice cream ingredients already mixed together. Because the ice cream is made to order, it’s free of any stabilizers – so that the salted caramel is just milk, cream, cane sugar, lemon juice and salt.
Once the ingredients have been poured, the liquid nitrogen is released, creating a lot of dramatic smoke…
..and in 90 seconds, your ice cream is ready.
You only get one flavor, no matter if you get a small or a regular size. I was worried that my small would be teeny, but it was two scoops (versus three for the regular).
So was the freshly churned ice cream significantly different? I will say that the texture was nice and creamy. The salted caramel was decent, though two scoops can make you quite thirsty. The cookie dough, which had pretzels and chocolate chips, was just okay, if not a little on the bland side.
For novelty’s sake, I’m glad I tried Smitten Ice Cream, but with so many frozen dessert competitors at the mall, it won’t be at the top of my list. Still, I can’t help but admire a company that got its start in a Radio Flyer and managed to grow to much more.
Location – 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles 90067. Additional locations in Northern and Southern California.
Website – https://www.smittenicecream.com
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Vegan Friendly – No
Gluten-Free Options – Yes
This location has closed as of February 2019.