Sunday, December 12, 2004
ah, mashti malone. the story is that when mashti and mehdi shirvani first set up their ice cream shop in this rather threadbare strip mall just off of hollywood boulevard, they couldn't afford to change the name on the sign of the previous business, "mugsy malone". so, they did what every enterprising immigrant in the city has done and changed around a few letters and thus was born mashti malone (btw, other clever reworkings around la: winchell's donuts-->michelle's donuts, von's supermarket-->jon's/mom's/ron's), purveyor of fine persian ice creams and some pretty tasty american ones too.
the shirvanis make all the ice cream and sorbets on offer, and their repertoire has expanded so much that not all flavours are on offer daily. of course, i totally skip over the pralines and cream and strawberry cheesecake varieties and go straight to the 'exotics'--the offerings this day were saffron ginger ice cream, rosewater ice cream, rosewater sorbet, rosewater and pomegranate sorbet (rosewater sorbets have rice starch noodles in them to add texture and body to the delicate ice) and a mysterious herb sorbet, flecked with green bits and black seeds that weren't poppyseeds. i couldn't decide, so i got a scoop of the rosewater and pomegranate and a scoop of the herb sorbet.
after you get your ice cream or sorbet, you can pour lemon juice or sour cherry juice over it for extra flavour, but the choices i picked were flavourful enough. the rosewater pomegranate was a nice little kick, much like regular rosewater when sour cherry has been added, and the herby seedy thingo was funky. i couldn't figure out any of the herbs, although there was a bit of a limey taste (kaffir lime leaves?), a basil taste, and heaven knows what the tiny, tiny seeds were, as they imparted very little flavour. i'm thinking nigella seeds, but possibly only because i had seen nigella lawson recently, and i had her on my mind (oh, if only i could have brought ms. lawson here!). despite the large portion, i devoured every bit of it, as it was light, refreshing, and more than a little addictive.
the shop also had other treats for sale--dried fruit, persian candies, tetra-pack 'exotic' juices--and pints of ice cream and sorbets to go. they also have the heavenly yet devilish ice cream sandwich known as 'the mashti': two thin wafers sandwiching two scoops of the super rich, super fantastic rosewater saffron pistachio ice cream. ultra-creamy rosewater ice cream is blended with saffron and whole pistachios, and paired with whisper light and crispy wafers for an out of this world chunk of gluttony that i think ms. lawson would approve of. i do.
1525 n la brea