Yesterday evening, we stopped by Neveux Artisan Creamery to try some of their ice cream and coffee. It was a cold evening and, duh, you shouldn’t eat something cold when it’s cold outside. However, when it’s really, really creamy, yummy, decadent ice cream, you will do whatever you can to be able to have those treats.
The new Melrose ice cream destination has only been open for a few months (since September) and has really been spending their time honing their craft to perfect their artisanal desserts. The place boasts such crazy and seemingly “off” flavors like Pepper Peach, Rosemary Butterscotch, Blueberry Chèvre, Caliente Cinnamon Chocolate, and Coconut Curry Lemongrass, that sound great, are great, and are most definitely quality treats (that you could easily see as meal closers at establishments like The Mercantile, Vintage Enoteca, or even Mozza).
The place is brainchild of Leo Neveux, former corporate worker turned passion-project-seeker. His passion was for (artisan) ice cream and has manifested itself in the Neveux Artisan Creamery. Leo and his team make these crazy high quality ice creams every day, throwing different savory and sweet tastes together to make new takes on ice cream classics. The resulting ice cream turns ice cream on its head, making it more of an iced flavored cheese board. Imagine a honey hinted goat cheese with blueberry–that’s the Blueberry Chévre. What about dark chocolate spiced with cinnamon paired with a sheep’s milk cheese? That’s the Caliente Cinnamon Chocolate. This approach to ice cream is very inventive and, dare we say, very “now.”
The four that stole our hearts were the seemingly simple flavors who you would assume to overlook next to something like Pepper Peach but, because it’s so familiar, you have to try it: we went with the Espresso Caramel, Salted Caramel, Toasted Marshmallow, and Créme Fraîche. The Espresso Caramel we paired together with the Salted Caramel, as they seemed like obvious friends. The Espresso Caramel is surprisingly not overpowering in the coffee department, which is great for non-coffee people like myself: it’s a dense coffee flavor, but the caramel balances things out to make it almost like a light chocolate. The Salted Caramel was one of the most intense ice cream incarnations of the now crowd pleasing flavor. It was full of chunky sea salt and super sweet, creamy caramel that–like the Espresso Caramel–balances perfectly.
The Toasted Marshmallow and Créme Fraîche were interesting to pair together and, upon digging your spoon in, you’d assume the creamier was the Créme Fraîche. Wrong: the Marshmallow! The Toasted Marshmallow is a subtle, smokey, creamy marshmallow flavor that borders Cotton Candy and other spun, complexified sugar flavors we all love. It isn’t overpoweringly “marshmallow” and is ridiculously creamy and fresh. The Créme Fraîche is a delight in that it is the rawest, natural of flavors: the flavor is, basically, their very subtle answer to Vanilla. It’s milky, it’s milky, and it’s milky without being heavy at all.
Of course, everyone reading this is going to ask, “Well, is it better than Scoops?” We even were fielding such questions yesterday evening after Tweeting and Instagramming it. The answer is yes-but-no. This is because, well, the two cannot be compared. While Scoops can be artisanal and craft, it’s very different: their experimentations are experiments, throwing crazy flavors together that work perfectly because they are great. The root of Neveux lies in this European, almost cheese board-y flavor basis that make it a little more complex. Both places are great, but they are like comparing Navel and Valencia Oranges: they are both great oranges, but they’re different.
(Also, Neveux serves great coffee, lattes, espresso, tea, baked items, and other goods all made in house. if you order a latte, they’ll prepare it right in front of you, even giving away the secret to making the perfect latte “design.”)
Neveux is located 7406 1/2 Melrose Ave, less than a block away from Village Idiot. Stop by, grab some ice cream, grab some coffee, and check out Los Angeles’ newest great ice cream spot…even on a cold night!