Restaurant review: Halo Top Scoop Shop

The new Halo Top Creamery ice cream shop in the Westfield Century City mall offers several types of vessels for ice cream consumption, including a waffle puff and an ice cream taco. (Kathy Chen/Daily Bruin)

Halo Top Creamery’s new scoop shop proves that healthier ice cream can still be colorful, inventive and most importantly, delicious.

Halo Top Creamery opened its newest scoop shop, the second of two storefronts, at the Westfield Century City mall Tuesday. Halo Top Creamery, founded by UCLA alumnus Justin Woolverton in 2012, has gained recognition for its low-calorie, low-sugar and low-fat ice cream. The scoop shop sells innovative creations and exclusive soft serve options along with classic flavors that satisfy cravings without sacrificing health.

Located on the second floor of the newly renovated shopping center, the brick-and-mortar store features sea-foam green tile walls and a yellow, ice cream scoop-shaped neon sign with “Guilt Free Zone” written next to it. The color palette extends throughout the interior with green lamps, a wall of gold spoons and a floor reading “I’m cold, let’s spoon.” The overall aesthetic is sophisticated, yet playful, and though the space doesn’t provide seating, there are plenty of other places to rest and enjoy the ice cream in the mall.

However, options are a bit pricier than an average ice cream store, starting at $4.95 for a single scoop or small soft serve without any toppings. The shop also offers classic cups and cones, ice cream sandwiches, waffle cone tacos, puffle cones and an extensive topping bar filled with fruits, sweets and cereals.

The soft serve options were underwhelming with only four fairly basic flavors to choose from – vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and blueberry crumble. The strawberry soft serve, however, was delicious, with a creamy texture and a satisfying level of sweetness. Even with the delectable toppings of sweet and plump raspberries and chewy brownies, the strawberry flavor still shone through.

Other toppings were more unconventional, like the cupcake bites, which looked like small white spheres covered in colorful confetti sprinkles. They looked adorable on ice cream, but were too hard and lacked a pleasurable flavor or texture.

Of the more traditional Halo Top ice cream flavors found in grocery stores, the caramel macchiato ice cream was divine, balancing strong caramel and coffee flavors. But the dairy-free cookie dough frozen dessert was disappointing, giving off a bitterness due to a strong punch of coconut milk flavor that isn’t ideal in ice cream. After the initial taste, the ice cream was still enjoyable, but the flavor was not exceptional.

In addition to traditional cups and cones, customers can also try more amusing options such as the puffle, or egg waffle, which is popular in Hong Kong and Macau. It is made to order and comes hot out of the waffle press – the final product features fluffy pockets of warm, eggy waffle surrounded by slightly crispy edges. The fresh waffle was worth the wait, and its warmth perfectly complemented the cold strawberry ice cream.

The ice cream taco was less impressive, and more of a gimmick than a showcase of artisanship. The price of $6.95 is high, despite its inclusion of two large scoops of ice cream that could constitute a meal in and of themselves. The shape of the taco is also not very practical since it can’t really be lifted, but it does serve as a fun vessel to enjoy the creamy treat.

Despite high prices, the Halo Top Scoop Shop is a heavenly choice for customers who are trying to stick to a better diet without cutting out the childlike playfulness of ice cream.

Read more here: http://dailybruin.com/2018/04/29/restaurant-review-halo-top-scoop-shop/
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