Deep within Chinatown’s Far East Plaza – beyond the coin-op kiddie rides and dark, creepy hallways – is a diamond in the rough. An out-of-place ice cream shop (or shoppe): Scoops Chinatown. “Wait a minute, this couldn’t possibly be ONLY ice cream. Where are the boba?” you might ask. The ubiquitous little (or big, depending on your gag reflex) tapioca balls that are prevalent in Chinatown are nowhere to be found here. Just honest-to-goodness creamy-dreamy ice cream. Mmmm, I’m melting…
This newly-opened Scoops spot is the 4th location, the first one having opened 10 years ago on the eastside. Already a Los Angeles institution, Scoops keeps LA ice cream aficionados satisfied with a rotating and ever-evolving selection of tasty combinations. Their westside location has been a favorite of mine since my lactose-intolerant wife (love you, sweetie!) discovered their incredible dairy-free concoctions a couple of years ago. While I’d be perfectly happy with a pint of Americone Dream, the Scoops handcrafted flavors never disappoint. I even find myself enjoying the
hippie vegan offerings!
We’ve been coming to this more conveniently-located Scoops probably twice a week since they opened a couple of months ago. Many of the flavors are identical to the creations offered at other Scoops locations, and I definitely have my flavorites (pretty clever, huh?): Bianco Bread (brown bread with mascarpone), Maple Oreo, Ricotta Toffee, Maple Horchata (D-D-D-Dammnnnn!), Black Sesame, Red Velvet Almond Roca, Caramel Graham Cracker… I could go on. If these flavors don’t sound very appetizing to you, you can also check the daily menu on their Twitter feed before you go.
The Scoops experience is very consistent across all locations: friendly service with a smile, super high-quality ice cream (2 scoops for $3), and… um, tasting spoons. But keep in mind that this spot is currently VERY no-frills: No sprinkles or toppings, and no decorations. The ambiance is bare-bones, so there’s really nothing to distract the worker behind the Scoops counter from the fact that he’s already served you 3 times this week. I’m one visit away from having a dreaded “usual” order. “Hi, Stu! The usual?” AKA, “Should I just fill up a trough for you now?”
Unfortunately, I don’t have the option of wearing a fake mustache. I’d have to shave mine off first, then I could disguise myself with a fake one later. But what do I have to be ashamed of anyway? Repeat customers are a sign that you’re doing something right. Sure, their return customers might be wearing somewhat more “sweatpants-ier” outfits (maybe eventually just showing up in dashikis and muumuus), but I guess that’s when “moderation” comes in. Yeah right!
Scoops is CASH ONLY, located next to Chego’s, and closed on Mondays.
727 N Broadway #125