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Best chocolate bar with almonds?

I just tried Fresh-n-Easy's private label Milk Chocolate with Almonds bar for $4.29, and guess what? It's Callebaut, complete with the name stamped on it. Seems to melt a little quicker than Trader Joes bars, but tastes basically the same at 70 cents less! Imagine, Callebaut for $4.29 for 17.3 oz, around $4.00/lb--must be the best deal anywhere for such excellent chocolate!

Mar 29, 2010
culinarycandy in General Topics

Frozen Custard in SD or OC area

Under the name "custard", yes, you are correct, it will never make it. However, for now there is only Theron's in Redlands as mentioned below, which is the real deal with the real machine and the real Wisconsin dairy ingredients. Well worth the drive, since Neilsen's in Henderson, NV is the next-closest high-quality frozen custard to SoCal.
There is a shop called Silky Smooth which was open for about 5 years in LA, and will be reopening soon. They also sell genuine fresh frozen custard, but ditched the name years ago. Stay tuned...

Dec 19, 2009
culinarycandy in California

Where can I find some Frozen Custard?

I was tipped off a few months ago that Neptune's Net in Malibu was serving frozen custard, so I called them and they said they were...I finally made it up there last week, and I gotta tell ya, this was the absolute worst "frozen custard" I have ever had in my life. Not only was it cheap, air-filled soft-serve, but the texture literally seemed like it had sand in it (well, it's right across from the beach, maybe it did!), and the flavor was awful. I tried the chocolate, too, and it was so messed up that it was full of un-mixed chocolate particles in it, as if they forgot to blend the liquid before pouring it into the machine.
Neptunes Net is actually a great restaurant, I loved the seafood I had (shrimp was to die for)
and it's a real fun place to hang after a day on the beach. Too bad they don't have a clue what frozen custard is supposed to be.

Where can I find some Frozen Custard?

It was to be had at Silky Smooth for over 4 years, Big J's in Tustin a few years ago, Kill Devil's in Lake Forest a few years ago, and Theron's right now in Redlands. LA locals only understand soft-serve yogurt, and not enough transplants were faithful to these shops. All 4 of them were (and in the case of Theron's, are) excellent quality, they had the right machines, the right flavor, and were served fresh always, unlike Lickity Split which blew it by hard-freezing theirs in barrels (rarely served fresh, only at Hollywood location for a short time).
Bottom Line? Not enough of us midwest transplant fans to keep them in business, not enough locals to try a product with such an unfortunate name. Only hope for the future is to not call it "frozen custard", but to sell exactly the same product wit a different label that will resonate with locals.

Where can I find some Frozen Custard?

Silky Smooth is no longer in the Beverly Center, but if you weren't impressed by it, then you wouldn't be impressed by ANY frozen custard. They used the very same process and the very same Wisconsin Dairy as Kopps, which along with Leon's and Ted Drewes (if you like honey), are considered the gold standard for frozen custard nationwide. Silky Smooth was a little sketchy during its first year or so, but they really got it together after the summer of '05, after they got rid of the "custard" name. Sure hope they can come back soon...

Where can I find some Frozen Custard?

I called Straus Creamery last week, and they told me it's a 6% soft-serve mix, NOT frozen custard. And, Pitfire uses a soft-serve machine, which pumps it full of air. So, sorry, this stuff is not even close to the ultra-gourmet product that this thread is all about.

Where can I find some Frozen Custard?

Lickity Split closed all stores 2 years ago. Lucky Devils is ok, but its soft-serve, so it cannot compare with the real deal like you had. Silky Smooth was awesome, they may reopen sometime in the future. Strickland's is made with the right type of extrusion machine, but does not contain eggs so it is NOT frozen custard. Also, they use HFCS in their recipe, unfortunately.
Theron's is the only genuine frozen custard shop open in SoCal now, see my post above.

Where can I find some Frozen Custard?

The only genuine Midwest-Style, extruded frozen custard (with eggs, unlike Strickland's) at the moment in SoCal is Theron's Frozen Custard in Redlands, open Fri/Sat/Sun only.

A bit of a drive, but sure beats making the haul to Las Vegas or Phoenix, which do have several frozen custard shops each. Be sure to call ahead before you go, and if they just ran a new batch, you will feel like you are in Milwaukee or St Louis! Great Stuff!!

Good Fried Chicken

On a good day when its very fresh and not over-salted, Church's is hard to beat. Their wings, in particular are really huge, contain half a breast, and are juicy and succulent, while having that thin, light & crispy eggy type coating. 2 of their wings is a meal! I've been enjoying Church's for over 20 years, including travels back east where, in Ohio, they actually have dual restaurants teamed up with White Castle!! Imagine fried chicken with genuine White Castle sliders...what a combo!

Also, Pollo Campero, when truly fresh from the fryer, is both juicy inside and crispy outside, with a distinct flavor that is definitely not bland. Well worth a try during a busy time of the day.

Pepsi Natural in glass bottles

Has anyone tried the new Pepsi Natural in glass bottles? Does it taste different than the Pepsi Throwback sweetened with cane sugar?

Jun 15, 2009
culinarycandy in General Topics

Pepsi and Mountain Dew Throwback

I was wondering too, so I did a side-by-side taste test of a fresh Mexican Pepsi in the glass bottle with throwback, and guess what? They were virtually identical!! So much so that I ended up not finishing both, so I poured the rest of the Mexican into the resealable throwback bottle, and couldn't tell the difference... Let's hope Pepsi makes the throwback formulas permanent!

Carvel & Real Soft Serve [split from L.A.]

I actually found the photos of the Carvel Machines mentioned in my previous post, and have attached them here. While I agree that today's Carvel "soft-serve" is about aas good as soft-serve gets, it cannot compare with Tom Carvel's original custard formula extruded from his original custard machines.

May 13, 2009
culinarycandy in Chains

Soft Serve Ice Cream in Los Angeles

I concur on Strickland's--no eggs, but made with a cool retro custard machine so at least it has the density of frozen custard, not quite as smooth or rich as the rea deal though. The major problem with Strickland's is their strange (money saving?) decision to use HFCS in their recipe... a real shame for a place that was founded in 1936 and supposedly has not changed its machine design or formula for 60+ years. Come on, it can't cost that much to switch back to cane sugar or honey, or for that matter to add the eggs back in. If they did, they would be top-notch...

Carvel & Real Soft Serve [split from L.A.]

A little known fact about "original" Carvel is that it was genuine extruded egg-based frozen custard for its first several decades. in fact, Tom Carvel prided himself in producing his own machines--the early ones were called "Custard King" and the later ones were plain box-shaped extrusion machines. Photos of these machines can be found on Google Images, or once in a while they show up on Ebay. There are a few really old Carvel's on the east coast that still use these machines today--and their product is outstanding! Carvel did not fully convert to dispensed "soft-serve" until after Tom Carvel sold out in 1989 (he died a year later), and Carvel became a corporate concern which switched to cheaper soft-serve machines to enhance shareholder equity. Tom Carvel would roll in his grave...

May 12, 2009
culinarycandy in Chains

Soft Serve Ice Cream in Los Angeles

Silky Smooth was genuine frozen custard with egg in it, the last one in the whole state of California (as of now). They simply deleted the name "custard" because it killed business, as that horrible name has done for every "custard" shop ever opened in California. Yes, they are closed now, but their phone still works, and they are apparently going to reopen nearby on 3rd St sometime soon. Meanwhile, for genuine, midwest style frozen custard fans, it's a trip to Phoenix or Vegas to satisfy the crave. My faves? Try Sheridan's in Henderson, NV, or Culver's in Phoenix. Neilsen's, in both cities, is pretty good too. Luv-It in Vegas is just OK, the vanilla is not bad, but the chocolate has almost no flavor.

Frozen Custard on Third

As a Silky Smooth devotee, I too was bummed when they closed down. However, the owner told me just before they closed that they planned on relocating to a larger spot at 3rd St and Sweetzer, just a few blocks away. How about that, fits the header of this thread, too!! Let's hope they can reopen soon...

Best ice cream in Los Angeles- an updated poll

The Beverly Center sucks, but inside that decadent dungeon is an absolute gem of ice cream nirvana called Silky Smooth Ultra Creamery and .
Nothing I have ever tried compares...texture, flavor, freshness. Simply amazing.

Good Prime Rib??

Houston's in Manhattan Beach has consistently superb prime rib, usually bone in, it has been my local fave for years. Both Houston's and Bandera restaurants in LA/OC all serve the same succulent recipe--which for the past 9 years has been a home run for not only myself and my family, but for all the out-of-town guests that I introduce to it. Yes, the even fat is so irresistible I end up eating all of it, hoping that my cholesterol will not skyrocket the next day...

Where can I get good Peking Duck?

Monterey Palace on Garvey Ave in Monterey Park has fantastic Peking Duck...I have had it about once per year over the past 10 years and it is consistently the best I've had in LA. They serve the crispy skins with fillet attached with warm buns and hoisin sauce, then serve the rest of the meat & bones (still excellent) with those crispy chips that seem like colorful styrofoam but are actually pretty tasty & crunchy. BTW, they also have the best suckling pig and roast pork I've had anywhere! Go early (4pm-5:30pm), since they often sell out of the "good stuff" early in the evening...I have driven all the way there many times to find this out the hard way.

REVIEW: Millions of Milkshakes? Not quite

Far better shakes can be had at Silky Smooth (Beverly Center) and Lucky Devil's (Hollywood Blvd). Silky Smooth offers incredibly velvety shakes you can drink with a straw, plus spoonable "Silkywhip" shakes that are so thick they are served upside down. Lucky Devil's shakes are nearly as thick as the Silkywhip, and also have high-quality flavor and mouthfeel.
I, for one, prefer shakes that are super thick, super smooth, and that taste like the flavor they are, not just an overly-sweet, foamy chemical mess like so many mass-produced shakes out there made with only profit in mind. Actually, on a good day when they're made right, Carl's Jr shakes beat most of the soft-serve chain shakes, and even rival many of the better hand-scooped shakes at ice cream parlors.

"Mostly locals" recs in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa

A true locals institution in Huntington Beach, right next to Costa Mesa/Newport Beach is
Las Barcas on Beach Blvd at Atlanta St. Authentic, fresh-prepared Mexican food with an Argentinian twist.
Everything is prepared to order, so if you are in a hurry, phone in the order 15 minutes in advance. Their signature soft tacos (chicken is the best, carnitas is also excellent) are to die for, just 2 make a meal! Also, their fresh-made tortilla chips are totally addictive, especially when they are still warm. Its all good!!

Cedars Sinai

Walk across the street to Beverly Center and you have 3 nice choices that you cannot see from the Cedars side:
Todai Seafood & Sushi on Beverly (buffet style)
California Pizza Kitchen on La Cienega
and for dessert
Silky Smooth Ultra Creamery-- 7th floor on the Macy's side, with seating downstairs.

Morning Coffee? there are 2 Coffee Bean & Tea Leafs--one inside the mall 6th floor by Bloomies, one outside on the corner of 3rd and La Cienega, across the street from Grand Luxe Cafe, another excellent choice mentioned previously on this thread.

Frozen custard in LA?

I rode out to to Neptune's Net yesterday, enjoyed my lobster & clams, but just like Binnie Loco they are serving a cheap soft-serve version of frozen custard that is no where near the dense, buttery texture of Silky Smooth. All you need to do is look at Yelp
to see the machine with the ribbons flowing to know that only the finest custard stands back east (Kopps, Leons, Ted Drewes, Shake Shack, etc) use this type of machine. No soft serve of any kind can compare, regardless of the ingredients. Like a new Mercedes-Benz S-Class vs a rental Ford Taurus.
Not sure about Theron's--anyone been there yet?

favorite fried chicken?

Church's Chicken has new "Real Wings" plus their original large wings (with half a breast attached)...both are consistently the best fried chicken I've had in LA and Long Beach. Way better than KFC extra crispy IMHO. Roscoes was very inconsistent...first time was great, 3 times since very dry and tasteless...I gave up. Church's new Real Wings are SO ADDICTING I don't really care about Roscoes any more. Wish Church's would open new stores in a wider area of LA--but for now they are worth a bit of a drive--best taste and best value out there.

Best Mexican food in the OC

A weekly habit of mine for over 20 years, Las Barcas on Beach at Atlanta is Huntington Beach's best kept locals secret. My faves have been soft chicken and carnitas tacos, best ever...they cook everything fresh so if you are short on time call in the order first. Love their Argentinian twist on Mexican food--so healthy, so yummy!


Best in town is the SilkySplit at Silky Smooth in the Beverly Center---totally worth the drive, they are actually a microcreamery and make the freshest flavors with the most velvety texture I've ever experienced. Check em out on yelp
Wish they had more locations...

REAL indian food in LA

My 2 faves in the area are india's Grill at La Cienega & San Vincente, and East India Grill at 345 N La Brea. Been to both many times over the years, both are excellent for the meat dishes, authentic sauces, basmati rice & naan breads I prefer. Can't speak for vegetarian-only entrees.

Bulgarini - Bad Experience

Silky Smooth at the Beverly Center is BETTER than Ted Drewes--they use the cleaner tasting custard mix from Wisconsin with pure cane sugar rather than honey, which gives Ted's EXCELLENT custard a little off taste IMHO.
Ted's is great, but ever been to Kopps or Leons in Milwaukee? Now THATS frozen custard heaven. Luckily, Silky Smooth is close by and is the real deal, with a lot more flavors than the midwest stands.
And, one more thing--Silky has adjusted to the California desire for health by using a 90% fat free yet still decadent tasting dairy mix imported from Wisconsin...

Mac & Cheese

My biggest surprise was Boston Market--their mac n cheese was, IMHO, the best thing on their menu, I liked it better than the chicken!! incredibly rich and decadent, al dente mac--it was sublime.

Picanha Or Gauchos Village?

I went to my first Fogo de Chao in Atlanta in 2003, then Chicago in 2004 and finally Beverly Hills when it opened and several times since. While all their meats may not be 10/10 perfection, their Picanha IS a Perfect 10!! Save room for lots of it, skip the lamb & chicken and go lite on the (very tempting) salad bar...