Ice Cream is the new cupcake. There. I said it. As cupcakes lose their novelty, I see more and more ice ceam and gelato shops popping up around town. Notably ice cream shops with specialty flavors. Scoops was the one that first drew the foodie’s attention, then came Bulgarini, Gail Silverton’s Gelato Bar, and Paradis.
In September, Neveux took over a little storefront on Melrose and began serving over 25 flavors of organic, sweet & savory gourmet ice cream. Owner, Leo Neveux, makes all of the ice cream fresh on the premises. Leo’s inspirations come from Bi-Rite Creamery and Humphry Slocombe, but the flavors kind of remind me of La Casa Gelato in Vancouver.
Flavors include Salted Caramel, Strawberry Balsamic, Honey Lavender, Rosemary Butterscotch, Blueberry Chevre, Rhubarb Mint, Espresso Caramel, Ginger, Toasted Marshmallow, Coconut Curry Lemongrass, Pepper Peach, Maple Fig, Roasted Banana, Pineapple Sage and Caliente Cinnamon Chocolate.
Neveux hosted a small ice cream social last night in their stylish ice cream parlour. The ice cream is extemely rich and creamy. Something as simple as creme fraiche lingers lovingly on my tastebuds. He prefers that the natural flavors and sugars come from the product instead of loading them with added ingredients, and it shows.
Salted caramel was oustanding! It had just the perfect amount of salt balanced with the caramel, which takes a careful hand. Similarly, using rosemary is playing with fire. Rosemary overwhelms the palate if just a little too much is used. With their Rosemary Butterscotch flavor, Neveaux manages to capture the essence of rosemary without assaulting my mouth. The butterscoth was not too noticeable but laid down a gentle bed for the rosemary to rest upon. One of our palates found the pepper to be a little strong in the Pepper Peach, but by that time my palate was awash with such an explosion of flavors, I didn’t find that to be the case. Other favorites were Toasted Marshmallow and Roasted Banana.
The café also serves coffee drinks made with “some of the finest beans, sourced from Vancouver, Canada-based 49th Parallel roasters”. In fact, one of their specialties is the Affogato al Cafe, ice cream drowned in espresso. The shop also offers baked goods and teas from Art of Tea.
As I said in the beginning, ice cream is the new cupcake, just as it replaced giant cookies, which replaced …ice cream fountains. I spoke to owner Leo Neveauz about the sea change, and he had this to say, “The ice cream bar has the potential to tap into the nostalgia factor just like the cupcake did, and now that the cupcake has lived its course, it’s time for the ice cream bar to rise up…”
“And rule the world?”
“…and rule the world!”
NEVEUX Artisan Creamery
7407 ½ Melrose Avenue (@ Martel)
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(Street parking available.)