This Friday, the future of ice cream is landing in Beverly Hills. In the same space that housed My Vienna for six short months of business, comes Ice Cream Lab. This is LA's
the country's first ice cream shop dedicated to serving made-to-order scoops of ice cream frozen with liquid nitrogen.
Ice Cream Lab co-owners Joseph Lifschutz and Tommy Ngan have been friends since boarding school. At 25, the two are already entrepreneurs who have dabbled in real estate and family business. Last year, inspired by the molecular gastronomy movement and their love for ice cream, they decided to invest in a concept centered around liquid nitrogen ice cream. Four months ago, they signed the lease for the first location of Ice Cream Lab.
Working with medical grade liquid nitrogen, Lifschutz and Ngan enlisted the help of friend Seema Vohra, who owns Miss Bliss Desserts, a local dessert catering company. Together, the trio picked out Straus Dairy for their ice cream base, Straus yogurt for their frozen yogurt base and began making brownies and mix-ins to create their custom flavors, with names inspired by LA: Angeles Apple Pie, Salt Lick Crunch, Brentwood Brownie and Blue Velvet Cupcake. Scoops start at $5. Fresh waffle cones are made throughout the day. Intelligentsia will provide coffee.
Besides finding a stable source for the liquid nitrogen, Ice Cream Lab needed an easy-to-use mixer that would blend the ice cream base into a fluffier cream. (Most liquid nitrogen ice cream made in restaurant kitchens is incredibly dense.) Ice Cream Lab ended up partnering with a manufacturer to create a machine to their specifications, with two mixing attachments and an opening for the liquid nitrogen pipe that adds the freezing element in precise measurements. They also had a portable unit made for demonstrations and catering.
This Friday at noon, guests will be able to enter Ice Cream Lab, order at the counter and watch as a lab tech: pours the ice cream base into the mixer, shoots in some liquid nitrogen, adds the mix-ins and, seconds later, serves them freshly churned, sweet ice cream through a cloud of frozen gas.
Investors, listen up: Lifschutz and Ngan didn't develop Ice Cream Lab to be a single location. "Soon, there will be hundreds," says Lifschutz. In addition to their aggressive expansion plans, Ice Cream Lab will have a truck roaming the streets of LA this summer called the Labmobile. It will be easy to find, just follow the nitrogen smoke.
·Coming Attractions [~ELA~]