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The Valley Has A New Place With Delicious Globetrotting Ice Cream Flavors Made From Scratch

Green tea macarons with fresh mint, palo santo and chocolate ice cream (Photo by Danny Jensen/LAist)
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A new artisanal ice cream shop in the San Fernando Valley is handcrafting internationally-inspired ice cream flavors like Thai-inspired sticky rice with mango and Mexican hot chocolate-style malted crunch.

Wanderlust Creamery, which just opened last Friday, is helping to cool off Tarzana with delicious and creatively-crafted ice cream. From the familiar earthy sweetness of Vietnamese coffee to unexpected combinations like pretzel and rugbrauo—a caramelized version of an Icelandic rye bread—there's no shortage of bold, yet balanced flavors. You'll also find bright, refreshing flavors like honey with lavender, strawberry balsamic mascarpone, or one with fresh mint flecked with dark chocolate and infused with palo santo—a revered wood from Ecuador and Peru believed to have purifying powers. Which is more than you can say for most desserts.

The shop's globally-minded flavors are meticulously designed by Adrienne Borlongan, a former cocktail consultant for nightlife giant SBE hospitality. She explains her inspiration to LAist:

Our flavors are inspired by wanderlust— not so much travel in the literal sense but in a way that each flavor evokes an experience. I just want people to be transported out of their physical location when they eat our ice cream. Like an escape from their day. One bite takes them somewhere else.

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Sticky rice and mango ice cream on an ube cone (Photo by Danny Jensen/LAist)
All of Wanderlust's ice creams are made with rich, organic milk from the esteemed Strauss creamery or use fresh non-dairy ingredients like coconut milk, including the sticky rice and mango. And unlike many shops—including many gourmet ones—Wanderlust doesn't just add flavors to a base ice cream made elsewhere. The shop is certified by California to pasteurize in-house, so you know everything is made super fresh on-site.

And while you could savor your Wanderlust scoops in a cup, you can also double down on your dessert by having them sandwich your selection between house-made French macarons. The macarons come in flavors like chocolate, blueberry, rose and even Thai tea (which also happens to be an ice cream option). You also may want to consider their freshly-made waffle cones flavored with green tea, brown butter vanilla, chocolate or ube—a purple yam popular in Filipino cooking.


Happy customers (Photo by Danny Jensen/LAist)
The creative combinations at Wanderlust Creamery are not only inspired by Borlongan's travels and mixology background—she also happens to be a food scientist. And she's got the spreadsheets designed to carefully craft balanced flavor profiles to prove it. Crafting ice cream flavors also happens to be in her blood. Borlongan—who opened the shop with her partner JP Lopez—is also the granddaughter of a flavor chemist from Magnolia Ice Cream, which is known for Filipino-inspired, tropical flavors.


Important decisions (Photo by Danny Jensen/LAist)

From Ireland to Peru, France to the Philippines, Borlongan looks to evoke flavors she's encountered while traveling, as well as childhood memories growing up in Southern California where cultures and flavors constantly intersect. Her international-inspired flavors let us scratch that travel itch without having to journey farther than the Valley. And savor a sweet dessert at the same time:

I feel like our age group is obsessed with travelling. We're all seized by this idea of wanderlust. We're not okay with a sedentary life. Everyone wants to explore and take the road less travelled. And I feel like that applies to everything, even a snack like ice cream.

Wanderlust Creamery is located at 18511 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana, (818) 774-9888