It may only be March, but if you need a reminder: summer’s coming.
Sure we have a few months before jackets and sweat pants turn into crop tops and short shorts, but until then the best way to get in the mood for the hottest of the four seasons is with soft serve ice cream! To get my pre-summer fix I had to stop by a unique shop that has been garnering a great deal of attention since it opened. Serving local, fresh, handmade, and organic soft service ice cream that has creative flavors such as charcoal and a cone by the same taste, the shop has been popping up on Instagram for all the right and delicious reasons. With a growing appetite and little patience I found myself at Little Damage in Downtown LA.
The shop is seriously popular.
I got to Little Damage fairly early on a Sunday morning and there was already a line. Maybe everyone had the same idea as I did and wanted ice cream after church. Whatever the reason, I had to wait but I didn’t mind. Standing in the line that was moving relatively quickly gave me the chance to look around the store. Although it’s small in size, the owners made creative use of the space. The black, gray, and white color palette was spread throughout the shop on tiles, chairs, and small figurines. Creative messages were fixed to the walls with pops of red in lights. And should you forget where you were, the shop had friendly reminders of the business name in hashtags—a great way for you to connect with them online.
Looking over the menu, the shop had four flavors in rotation on my visit: Almond Charcoal, Just Beet It, Plain Jane, and Vegan Mango Sticky Rice ($6). Standing in line gave me the chance to decide which flavors to get. I knew I wanted my soft serve on the Charcoal Cone ($1) and quickly came to the conclusion that I would get two cones with a single flavor on each. Why cut myself short from enjoying a flavor to the fullest by splitting two flavors on one cone when I didn’t have to. I let my gluttony take reign and got a cone of almond charcoal and a second of just beet it. To take in the full Little Damage experience, I took advantage of the free first topping (.30 cents for additional toppings and .50 cents for popcorn topping). I had Oreo’s on the almond charcoal cone and coconut shavings on the just beet it cone.
The moment the cones were handed to me, I was basically a little kid!
The first cone that I tried was, of course, the almond charcoal. Within a few licks it was clear that the flavor was delicious! The almond was a prominent accent within the incredibly smooth and cold soft serve. The charcoal flavor came through subtly and offered a deep richness that lingered long after the ice cream was gone. What I loved about the flavor was that there wasn’t any gritty taste that you would assume would be present when you hear “charcoal” in the name. The moment I hit the cone, I loved how it tasted! The cone is different from the regular ones you’ve probably had and is simply a great alternative to enjoy. It tasted dark, deep, and it was strong in flavor meaning it only enhanced the ice cream flavor you ordered! And how could I forget, the Oreo toppings gave a friendly crunch and texture to the cone. From top to bottom, I adored taking in my first almond charcoal experience!
As sad as I was to see the almond charcoal cone disappear to my stomach, I was glad to have the just beet it to follow behind it. The same delicious charcoal cone that I had prior made a second appearance here with the beet flavor. As I tasted it, it was clear that the soft serve was true to the vegetable. While it was sweeter and creamier than what you taste when you eat the vegetable as it comes from the ground, I could still taste notes of the strong and sometimes bitter vegetable. Except here, it was much more desirable and the coconut shavings only helped. Sure there probably wasn’t as much (or any) of the nutritious benefits that you would get from beets should it be served originally, but I don’t mind pretending.
Summer may be right around the corner but until the heat comes in with full force, it is perfectly fine to get the summer feel going with some delicious soft serve. If you’re looking for a great take on soft serve ice cream and a cone unlike any other you’ve had before, Little Damage is the place to go that will have you coming back for more!
- Food tastes great
- Friendly staff
- Can get crowded
- Structure or street parking only