Sometimes ice cream is just what it is and that’s fine.
There are times when you walk into an ice cream shop, peer into the glass case, choose a flavor, and what you get is simply what you asked for. But then there are times when ice cream does more than you expected. It can create long-lasting relationships with people that you may not have expected. Case in point, Helados. Then there are times when you walk into an ice cream shop and the taste of each flavor you sample takes you on a trip across the world. If you’ve encountered that experience, then you were probably in Wanderlust Creamery.
This week I visited Wanderlust to not only try a few of their flavors, but also see if the shop lived up to its name. Was it possible for a small ice cream shop in Glendale, California to instill a sense of travel within me to the point that I run home, book a flight, and pack my bags in anticipation of a trip? If not that, then could the taste bring forth a sense of nostalgia of past trips; Mexico City or Phuket? As I spoke to one of the shops’ co-owners, JP, I looked to gauge his answer on the very question. From his account, their flavors incorporate aspects of the places he and co-owner Adrienne have visited. Popular and common ingredients from various cities are mixed in each batch and served with the hope that wanderlust and inspiration will come through with every scoop. Hearing that, I picked a few flavors in hopes of taking a trip myself.
Picking a flavor was just as hard as picking a place to vacation. Should I get Earl Grey for a taste of Great Britain, Tonka Bean to devour a bit of South America, or go with the Vegan Gianduja to try my hand at Italy? After dropping enough clean plastic spoons in the “used” containers, I made a decision. I started with an Ube Cone ($1). The purple yam flavored cone was both beautifully colored and delicious. On top of it I had scoops of Ube Malted Crunch (Philippines), Thai Tea (Thailand), Violet Marshmallow (Nice, France), and Sticky Rice + Mango (Thailand) rounding me out at about $11 for the trip. Each scoop was delicious, smooth, and extremely sweet. It’s safe to expect a bit of a sugar high as you take in these scoops, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless.
With little understanding of what it’s like to be in France or the Philippines, it was impossible to carry a sense of nostalgia. Instead, the ice cream infused a degree of wonderment to know what the cities were like. Did the distinct attributes about the ube feel like walking down a bustling street in the Philippines? And did JP and Adrienne find the gentle and subtle tastes of the marshmallow creme and Parma Violets in the Violet Marshmallow feel similar to walking along the beautiful blue ocean and white sanded beach? I’m not sure, but in that moment with those flavors I was eager to find out first hand.
My bank account thought otherwise.
Taking a trip back to reality, I fell deep into the Thai Tea and the Sticky Rice + Mango flavors. Each one reminded me of my trip to Phuket. The Thai Tea tasted like the drinks I had before spending the day walking down streets, visiting shops, and dodging speeding vehicles that had no concern for tourists. Then there was the sticky rice flavor. Considering I didn’t like sticky rice when I tried it, I was surprised to find it more than agreeable when it came scooped out of the Wanderlust case. It was smooth and clear in its flavoring, but didn’t come with the varying temperatures that happens when the rice, coconut milk, and mango slices come on a plate. Served here, I enjoyed this flavor and the others to the point that I wanted to add a few more stamps in my passport.
Leaving Wanderlust I was reminded of other experiences with ice cream. Sometimes ice cream is just what it is and that’s fine. Then there are times when ice cream can take you on a trip around the world without even leaving your state. When that happens, it’s safe to say that you got your money’s worth.
Address: 3134 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village, Los Angeles, CA 90039
Hours: Sunday to Thursday – 12:00 pm to 10:30 pm and Friday & Saturday 12:00 pm-11:30 pm
Social: Website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
- Food tastes great
- Friendly staff
- Plenty of parking