BY SHERRI YORK
PHOTOGRAPHY BY RACHEL SWETNAM
If you’re among the dwindling Coolhaus uninitiated, this dessert team concocts dozens of bold ice cream flavors such as Brown Butter Candied Bacon or Sweet Potato & Marshmallow, then layers them between equally bold cookies, customer favorite Potato Chip & Butterscotch, for example, thus creating their architectural “sammies.” No flavor is off limits, but they have a fondness for sweet + salty combos, for better flavor balance, and alcohol steeped ice creams like Guinness Chip or Makers Mark Manhattan with Luxardo Cherries (for perhaps better mood balance). Not all combinations work; the Waldorf Salad, with its blue cheese base, candied walnuts, and apples, wasn’t worth a lick, but that didn’t stop their daring attempts.
Coolhaus ice creams are intensely creamy. Processing their ice cream is like making gelato: much of the air is removed, creating denser scoops. But unlike gelato, Coolhaus incorporates a base that’s high in butterfat making the ice cream rich with flavor. Asking about calories at Coolhaus would be like asking about a hangover from Bordeaux. It’s just not the point. Farchitecture (food + architecture) rules Coolhaus. From sandwich construction, to packaging, to the homage in their name (you mean you haven’t heard of Rem Koolhaas, famed Dutch architect?), architectural references permeate all facets of Coolhaus.
Natasha, besides being an ultra hip ice cream purveyor, is also an architect, who was working for Disney’s Imagineering division until the economy tanked in 2008 and she was laid off. Barely missing a beat, she and Freya, from the real estate and private equity worlds, launched Coolhaus. “If you told me ten years ago that I’d be in the ice cream business, I’d never believe you,” Case said. An architectural concept shouldn’t matter in the ice cream business, but Coolhaus boasts that architects in Venice are among their best customers.
Like the little ice cream truck that could, Case and Estrella seemed to think big from the moment their converted postal truck debuted at Coachella in 2009. Since then, they rolled out trucks in four cities across the country, introduced a retail line in over thirty area Whole Foods stores, and opened a bricks and mortar locale in Culver City. You can count on more shock and awe flavors at Coolhaas (Chicken & Waffles, for example), an expanding restaurant, and more gourmet grocer outlets. Before you know it, that addictively unconventional bite of a Coolhaus ice cream sammie will be within reach whenever that craving strikes.
Coolhaus LA, 8588 Washington Boulevard Culver City, CA, eatcoolhaus.com