BY SHERRI YORK
PHOTOGRAPHY BY RACHEL SWETNAM
One day, while Shiho was chief breadmaker at San Francisco’s famed Tartine Bakery she told Zoe, long-time friend and Tartine alum, that she was moving to Hawaii to open an ice cream shop. With that, Zoe and Josh practically diverted her plane to Los Angeles and, with their help, Sweet Rose Creamery opened its doors at Brentwood Country Mart.
Sweet Rose Creamery is one of only a few purveyors in California using a pasteurizing process that enables cooking at a lower temperature, resulting in a thicker texture and cleaner, less eggy, flavor. Her meticulous trial and error process led to five classic flavors, including the most popular Salted Caramel and Fresh Mint Chip, of which Shiho seems most proud. After many attempts at the minted flavor, she found a recipe that worked by steeping plentiful bundles of organic mint in the base custard (SRC uses 20 pounds of mint weekly) until the flavor and vibrant green color is married in. The mint is strained out and homemade chocolate pieces are folded in.
Shiho has a commitment to using “everything as a whole.” She extracts zests and juice from citrus for sorbets and ice creams, then uses the leftover pulp for cakes and pastries that are sold separately, or made into ice cream toppings. With apricots, a summer feature along with other stone fruits, she will grind the seeds and use them as an amaretto-like flavor infusion.
Inspired by seasonal produce from Santa Monica Farmers Market, Sweet Rose Creamery crafts unexpected yet sublime flavors for ice creams and sorbets, such as Farmers Market Strawberry. Cara Cara Carrot combines deep orange citrus with purple carrots to make a brilliant scarlet sorbet that you want eat with your eyes as much as your mouth. Desert Tomato has a hint of savory, reminiscent of a decadent Virgin Mary cocktail. Madras Curry with raisins and coconut is surprisingly sweet and satisfying with flavors that reveal themselves in succession. Even flavors like Black Sesame made with Meiji tofu soy milk, more tribute to Japanese desserts than a notion for sale, delighted Shiho with the favorable response from customers.
Sweet Rose Creamery keeps ice creams and sorbets at an “optimum [slightly warmer] temperature to ensure the best texture and flavor.” But that means they have about a three-day shelf life, which is why Shiho and team make small batches every day.
Most of Sweet Rose’s menu offers enhanced versions of familiar ice cream flavors, milkshakes, toppings, sundaes, and ice cream sandwiches, but it’s the creation of new flavor combinations celebrating seasonal produce that appeals to the true ice cream connoisseur.
Sweet Rose Creamery, 225 26th Street #51 Santa Monica, CA, sweetrosecreamery.com