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Arts and Entertainment

Salt & Straw's New Arts District Location Opens This Week

(Photo by Juliet Bennett Rylah/LAist)
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Salt & Straw is opening up a new shop in downtown's Arts District on Thursday, October 13. We got a sneak peek at their new digs, a look inside their nearby ice cream factory, and a chance to sample their quirky new Halloween flavors.The new shop, located at 928 E. 3rd Street, will officially open at 11 a.m. on Thursday. It's a more spacious location than their other L.A. outposts, and has a small market area called The Meadow, founded by salt aficionado Mark Bitterman, where guests can purchase the same salts and chocolates that they use in their recipes. This is the Portland-based scoops shop's fourth location in the Los Angeles area, following their Larchmont, Venice and Studio City stores.

Salt & Straw offers five new flavors every four weeks. This month, they're offering their Spooktacular Series, obviously meant to coincide with Halloween. There's the Essence of Ghost, which has an earthy, musky taste like eating a delicious cemetery, and the Great Candycopia, which consists of house-made candies swirled into a butterscotch base. The Jack O' Lantern Pumpkin Sherbet is a light pumpkin juice sherbet swirled with lemon sherbet, resulting in a refreshing treat that lacks the syrupy sweetness of most seasonal pumpkin spice desserts. The Love Potion is a spicy, fruity sorbet, while the most adventurous flavor is the Dracula's Blood Pudding. This one tastes like a textured, spiced hot chocolate, and is made with blood pudding and a bit of chicken liver.

A freshly made batch of the Great Candycopia (Photo by Juliet Bennett Rylah/LAist)
During a brief tour of their L.A. production facility, founder Tyler Malek explained how the Great Candycopia was made. First, they recreated their favorite childhood candies, such as Snickers, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Heath Bars, and Whoppers. To make a Snickers in-house, they lay down a chocolate base, then top it with a peanut butter nougat. They then sprinkle nuts overtop the nougat, then drizzle the whole thing with caramel before sealing it in another layer of chocolate. Malek said they describe how difficult a particular ice cream is to make by how many hands are required to put it all together. For the Candycopia, they first spin the butterscotch base in a machine. Then, one person has to stir the ice cream while several other people sprinkle in each of the candies as the same time. Essentially, that means this is up to a seven-hand job, Malek said. The ice cream is then hardened in a freezer cooled to -45 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Getting ready to pour in the candies (Photo by Juliet Bennett Rylah/LAist)
In addition to scoops and cones, they will also offer floats, shakes, sundaes and tasting flights.

Salt & Straw is located at 829 E. 3rd St. in the Arts District. It opens on October 13, and will be open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

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