Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ice on a pan. (LA/OC)

Alright everyone, its time to bear with Uncle Charlie for a little bit. I'm trying to play embedded video in my blog to give it a fresher more techie attitude to match with my newly acquired nerd shirt.

But in my infinite nerdiness i haven't figured out how to get the video to align in the middle with everything else.. Still working on that. If you have some info please leave a comment =)
Edit: figured it out! woot


For my first experimental post we're going to go visit an equally exciting and new place to eat, Icepan. Located next to the Happiest Place on Earth (South Coast Plaza, which actually has more traffic in and out of it yearly than DisneyLand) a mini ice cream shop in a sea of small mall like eateries.
Now what makes Icepan so darn innovate and exciting? Its one of the few places on earth that when they tell you they make their ice cream on the spot, they really mean right in front of you on the spot. In the past year Los Angeles has been caught in a flurry of snack trends and no doubt Icepan is trying to carve its own little niche. We have "designer" cupcakes and fake yogurt being disguised as real yogurt so why not "fresh ice cream"?

Icepan tries to makes its claim to fame by allowing you to pick the ingredients of your ice cream .. all the way down to the type of milk you use to make an unique ice cream just for you! Of course you're uniqueness is only so unique. You are given a choice of Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Banana, Kiwi, Mango, Yogurt, Green tea with an occasional special flavor thrown in (cabbage!?). (menu can be found here). Mind you the fruit flavors are all made with fresh fruit, and not just little itty bitsy pieces of fruit, but the portion size your mom used to shove down your throat every morning (or in my brother and my case, still do). If you're mom never gave you fruit, just imagine its quite a bit since mom's never think their kids are eating healthy enough, so they overcompensate.
After you pick out your flavor, you get a choice of Soy Milk, Non-Fat Milk, Low-Fat Milk, Whole Milk. I'd like to think that an ice cream is not an ice cream without the nice fatty thickness of Whole Milk but on my current diet plan I can't be eating those extra 50 Calories. On top of that there are little toppings you can mix in, i like chocolate chip with Strawberry because it tastes like Chocolate Covered Strawberries!

So onto our first video! (i'm so excited!) After you select your flavors the worker will grab a square box that has your fruit inside. She/He takes the fruit and puts it into a tall cylindrical container, the kind you have with a hand blender. They pour a mix of milk into it (depending on what you got) that i'm almost 100% positive has sugar and whatever necessary flavoring. After all that's settled in the container the hand blender comes into play! Please Press play and watch the video =)

After the mix is completely blended they proceed to put the mixture on a metal pan (get it? Icepan?) They allow the mixture to sit a bit on the metal plan which is oddly reminiscent of making scrambled eggs. You know how you let the egg mixture just sit there a little and let it solidify just enough that you can start messing with it? Same Exact Thing.

Now if i may turn your attention to video #2 you can actually see them make the "ice cream"! They viciously attack the mixture from all angles, chipping and chipping away at it till it gets solid enough to scoop and put into your cup. And Wala! ice cream in a cup!

Of course, as innovative as it maybe, it doesn't really matter if it doesn't taste good right? Luckily Icepan isn't a disappointment. This isn't ice cream in the traditional sense of creamy and milky ice cream you might be able to get at Fossleman's or Rite-Aid. Imagine a milk based fruit smoothie but stuck in the freezer. Or if you've ever had those Milk Strawberry Popsicles? Taste pretty much like that, except alot fruitier. I really like their use of fresh fruits in the Ice Cream, you can definitely taste the strong sour/tartness of Kiwi, the sweet tart of Strawberries, and the sugary sweetness of mango with every bite. Of course its rather odd looking at your Kiwi Ice cream and just seeing little black seeds in it.

My one big qualm about this is the price. It costs a little under $5 for the scoop you just saw. On top of that unlike a normal ice cream shop that really packs in your ice cream into the cup they don't do it here. If they packed it in, it'd probably melt way too fast. But you end up getting significantly less ice cream.

I say Icepan is something that everyone ought to try at least once, just for the novelty of it. You may not agree with the price but its something to cool you down after a hot frantic day of shopping at South Coast!

3930 Bristol St. #110 Santa Ana, CA 92704

P.S.EDIT: it takes about 5 minutes for them to mix your stuff together, so try to allocate at least 10-15 minutes in case there are people in front of you.


Nicholas said...

how long does it take start to finish?

Charlie Fu said...

Nicholas: it takes about 5 minutes