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LA’s Ice Cream Renaissance Is Real

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Plus Urban Garden closes on Beverly, and more

McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

How much ice cream is too much ice cream?

Has Los Angeles hit the peak of its ice cream fascination yet? You’d think so, given the recent proliferation of soft serve and scoop shops around the city. There’s the new McConnell’s in Los Feliz, a newish Downtown option called Gresescent, and the stunningly popular Magpie’s Softserve in Silver Lake.

That’s to say nothing of the bigger chains, too. Salt & Straw is still drawing big lines, while Jeni’s in Los Feliz is quietly back on the expansion track. Even the concretes from Shake Shack are a popular item these days, despite the crisp evening air.

And so it should come as no surprise that Santa Monica is in line for a Sloan’s soon, right on the Third Street Promenade. The mostly Florida-based outlet also enjoys a pair of locations in San Diego (plus one up at the Westfield Topanga), but will be jumping into the thick of the Westside tourist corridor for a 2017 arrival. It’s a smart move for the colorful company, as their signature bright pink look is sure to drive lots of eyeballs their way.

Still, one can’t help but wonder how much ice cream demand their still is, given all the recent openings. That said, Los Angeles is a big place, and there’s room for all sorts of places to thrive. Here’s to hoping Sloan’s enjoys a long run along the Promenade, scooping desserts for years to come.

Mezcalero starts the drinking party Downtown

There’s a new place to swallow your post-work feelings, and it’s called Mezcalero. The Broadway location serves tacos, beer, and yes mezcal. with a kitchen that stays open until midnight and a happy hour that stays up daily from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. 510 S. Broadway, Downtown.

Peek inside Rosaline

Ricardo Zarate’s upcoming Rosaline is still very much under construction, as you can see by this recent Instagram shot showing off the place so far. It’s all coming along though, which is good news for fans of Zarate’s cooking who have been waiting for the Peruvian maestro to make his comeback.


A photo posted by Rosaliné ( on

Espresso Cielo has arrived

There’s some new coffee brewing in Santa Monica, as Toddrickallen peeks inside the recently arrived Espresso Cielo on 2nd Street. More than a year delayed, the project is now up and running, serving pastries and hot drinks just in time for the cold season. 1431 2nd Street, Santa Monica.

Antonia Lofaso adds catering

As if running the kitchens of a few highly acclaimed restaurants — including Scopa Italian Roots — weren’t enough, chef Antonia Lofaso is branching out with her own catering line. The Top Chef personality apparently reps a full liquor license for parties large and small, though it’s hard to imagine where she finds the time since she’s of late been collaborating on a menu for the new Sycamore Tavern in Hollywood.

Urban Garden closes on Beverly

It’s the end of the line for Urban Garden, as the Middle Eastern restaurant on Beverly Boulevard has closed. A note left on the company’s website wishes a fond farewell to all the locals who stopped in over the two and a half years they were around.

Partying it up at Park’s Finest

In another episode of Stephen Solomon and Ralph Saltsman’s Cheap Eats series, the pair head to The Park’s Finest for some "backyard boogie BBQ". The (obviously) come away mighty impressed with the work being done in Historic Filipinotown, particularly after spending some time in the kitchen.