Sunday, September 1, 2013

Quenelle: Burbank Like Rain: Desert

'Real' ice cream lovers in Burbank rejoice: John Park, most recently pastry chef at Lukshon and Father's Office (who has also worked at 2 Michelin-starred Providence and Water Grill) has just opened his own place in a neighborhood known mostly for corporate chain food or 'suburban quality' mom and pops, and absolutely starved for talent of his caliber.

A neighborhood shoppe on a quiet stretch of Magnolia between chain-riddled downtown Burbank, and the hustle and bustle of expansive studio lots, Quenelle's arrival draws foodies forward like a long awaited rain shower in the desert. 


First off, they have ice cream flavors that you would have never dreamed of being able to get in the depths of suburbia - from Orange Blossom Water to Caramelized Pineapple to Thai Iced Tea. 

I had been drooling for weeks over the R&D photos Chef Park had been posting on his Instagram (quenellespoon) and couldn't wait to try absolutely everything.

On my first visit, I went straight for the Soursop ice cream ($3.50 small $5.50 large), a fruit that as the friendly cashier said resembles Cherimoya in taste (it is afterall from the same genus).  Delicate in flavor but perfectly creamy in texture, I was in love at first bite. 

My second scoop was Blood Orange, a bright flavor that strikes a perfect balance in sugar/acidity and texture and brings the sunshine and depth of the fruit into each spoonful.
Chef Park also brings his pastry chef talents to unique toppings (more on that in a bit) and delicious cookies, (bacon-cheddar!!!) scones and other pastry treats.

I've tried the Nutella cookie (waiting to go back when they have the Nutella Fluffer Nutter!!!) and the linzer, which were tasty...

I wanted to bring truckloads of their ice cream / baked goods home with me that first day, but as I had dangled Quenelle as incentive / worthy goal for myself to actually exercise (I biked multiple miles to get there...the payoff was worth it) I couldn't carry any of it back with me and had to wait til I could be back by car.
On the next visit I tried Blueberry Pie and Strawberry Shortcake ice creams - and checked out some of their awesome toppings: caramelized rice and chocolate feuillettine ($1 each).  The caramelized rice was like the most delicious, refined, skillfully crafted gourmet version of a rice krispies treat you've ever had, broken up into bits for a clean crisp crunch to go with your ice cream.  I loved the flaky crunchy chocolate feuillettine as well, but the caramelized rice is the one I dream of...

And Quenelle also offers gourmet pops: I enjoyed the Hibiscus Watermelon (need to try girl scout cookie inspired Thin Mint next!!).
But the push-pops, I had to have.  Sadly, they had already sold out of the Mango Lemongrass push-pops that had me salivating via Instagram.  When I heard that they only make about 20 push-pops a day, which sell out pretty quickly - I made sure to return first thing the next morning, a difficult thing for a decidedly non-morning person, but I set 3 alarms and it was worth it.   They didn't have the Mango Lemongrass, but the flavor of the day was White Peach and Cream ($5) and it brought all the fun of childhood with taste and quality for the developed adult palate.

Quenelle has easily already won me over to become one of my favorite places in the SFV.  And because it's bike-able distance for me, I know it's actually going to help me stay in shape - because I am definitely going to be back - many, many times.

Note that it doesn't really have any seating yet - there is only a kid's table with a single kid sized chair - so if you're visiting with a group it might be advisable to drive so that you can enjoy your treats sitting in your car...(or bring a cooler / insulated bag with ice for travel).

If you are in the Valley (and if you're not) - drive, bike, walk - hurry over and check it out before it gets crowded!!

Update November 2013:  Ok, after many, many visits, my favorite treats are: thin mint pop (tastes like a much, much refined cold and creamy version of the Girl Scout cookie fav, encased in chocolate shell), peanut butter and jelly pop (the shell is peanut butter - and you can taste the peanuts as if they were fresh ground...jelly swirled inside ice cream in pop), blueberry pie ice cream, mango lemongrass push-pop (the mango in here is super fresh, and the push pop is so fun to eat!), caramelized pineapple ice cream. Toppings? Caramelized rice and chocolate coconut feuilletine are amazing, every time.


2214 W Magnolia Blvd., Unit A, Burbank, CA 91506
Ph: 818.843.1035

Parking: Street parking

Website: (site not yet live - check Facebook page for updates)
***Note: Cash Only, so bring lots of it of you're planning to try a bunch of treats!***

Quenelle on Urbanspoon

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