Saturday, June 2, 2012

Saffron & Rose Ice Cream: A Dessert by Any Other Name Would be as Delicious

With the official start of summer, I can't help but have ice cream, that almost universally beloved frozen treat, on my mind.

A few weeks back, Dorkyfoodie and I got a headstart on summer after a Science and Food lecture at UCLA one night.  Yes, Westwood is home to that beacon of budget-conscious ice cream lovers, Didi Reese - but I was excited when Dorkyfoodie recommended a much more unusual and intriguing alternative, just south of Wilshire, where saffron ice cream is served.

The shop is Saffron & Rose, a Persian ice cream shop that is no frills in terms of decor but instead pours all their focus into amazing, homemade ice cream in unique flavors - all made with rosewater -and it definitely shows in the quality in every scoop.

This place instantly turns functioning adults into kids in a candy store.  We nearly got whiplash jumping from case to case, pausing every few seconds to shout out a new fun flavor sighting: "ginger made with real ginger"! "Rose!" "Cantaloupe!" "Saffron with Pistachio!!" 

The shopkeeper is incredibly nice and friendly and seemed to enjoy our excitement, offering us sample after sample. 

As the tasters revealed, their ice cream is beautifully subtle, clean and refreshing in flavor - you won't fall into a sugar coma after indulging here. Still, after a filling meal at 800 Degrees, I reluctant cowed to reality of physical limits. 

It was tough narrowing down the choices to two, but I finally went for Saffron with Pistachio, and Cucumber.  Loved the Saffron for its subtle savoriness mixed with the delicately floral taste of rosewater, with a texture that is creamy but clean and not overwhelmingly rich.  Studded throughout with pieces of pistachio - not in the annoying, hard pebbly (ha!) way that nuts in Rocky Road ice cream cut into your mouth - but soft, and cohesive not obtrusive to the rest of the ice cream.

As for the Cucumber - it was amazing.  For those into artisanal cocktails - tasting this Cucumber ice cream was sort of like the revelatory first taste of a cocktail actually made with fresh fruit or veggie juice / syrup / infusions versus a pre-packaged "[insert fruit/veggie name] flavored" liquor.  It tasted soul soothingly real, and delicious. 

Apparently, Saffron & Rose's ice cream is 100% natural, made with fresh fruit, veggies, etc., whole, organic, hormone-free milk and homemade rosewater.  And some of their recipes date back 2400 years - so attention health nuts and history buffs - when you indulge in one of these treats you're tasting better for your body treats whose origins are traced back to times of Persian kings...

OK enough with all that, what's important to know is - this is some delicious ice cream in some cool flavors that are hard to find at other ice cream shops on the Westside!!!

Thanks, Dorkyfoodie for introducing me to this place!!!

On a 7 point scale:
Flavor - 5.5 bites
Presentation - 4 bites
Originality - 6 bites
Ambience - 4 stars
Service - 6 stars
Overall experience - 5.5 bites
Price - $ (1 bite mark)
Probability of return visit - 95% 

Saffron & Rose 

1387 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025
Ph: 310.477.5533

Saffron & Rose on Urbanspoon

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