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Ice Cream Summer: Lickity Split

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The folks over at Lickity Split say "if you like ice cream, you'll love frozen custard." We knew not of what they spoke, so we dedcided to make the new Lickity Split location in the heart of Hollywood our next stop on the Ice Cream Summer tour of the city. Frozen custard, as it so happens, originated in 1919 on Coney Island, and has sustained its popularity since then, primarily on the East Coast and in the Midwest. It's claim to fame is that it has less butterfat, sodium, and sugar than other ice creams. Last week we discovered that the more butterfat the better when we sampled Fosselman's; how do things at the other end of the spectrum stack up, we wondered. Or is comparing frozen custard to ice cream like apples and oranges?

Lickity Split was all but empty when we got there, though there were a few tables of folks sucking on YooHoos and surfing the internet thanks to the store's gratis wireless signal. The staff were friendly, and the room had a shiny and new kind of stark-white clean vibe to it, although the fact that they were running out of napkins was alarming. We were offered, and indulged in, several samples from their limited selection of about a dozen flavors: Chocolate with Snickers, Red Bull Sorbet, and Guava Sorbet. We noticed that the custard is softer and somewhat icier than the usual scooped ice cream, and lacked the density we were used to. We ordered the peaches and cream in a specialty chocolate cone, and right away were disappointed with its gloopy, drooping appearance and the fact that it started to ooze and run almost immediately after it was lifted from the freezer. Also, none of the chunks of peaches we'd seen in the vat had seemed to make it into our cone. Taste wise it was okay, but ultimately lackluster; it wasn't as gritty or plastic tasting as soft-serve, but it just didn't have much flavor. The cone, on the other hand, was quite tasty. Of course our cone couldn't be pulled from its plastic holder, because it was broken in several pieces, and we had to dump the whole thing in a cup in order to finish it. Perhaps frozen custard is best eaten from a cup. Perhaps this less than two month old location needs some time to get in their groove. Or perhaps we just don't like frozen custard. We're still going to keep our eye on this Lickity Split, just to see how they fare. They're two blocks or so from the monstrosity of Hollywood & Highland, so they're two blocks from the ever popular Coldstone. Apples and oranges? Maybe. But at the very least we want our apples to taste good, and at $3.20 a pop plus $1.45 for the special cone, we want our money's worth, which we definitely didn't get. So far Fosselman's is leading the list of summer a long mile.

Lickity Split 6708 Hollywood Boulevard (323) 466-5425, with two other locations in El Segundo and Manhattan Beach