THINGS I ATE: Seasonal Ice Cream Flavors at Cafe del Rey

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People who know me know that I love ice cream. I mean, there’s nothing groundbreaking about that statement. Who doesn’t love ice cream? Maybe aliens or ornery Disney villains like Jaffar. I don’t know. The point is that I take my ice cream very seriously. Not only do I consume it, but I make it occasionally (with the help of David Lebovitz’s must-buy cookbook, The Perfect Scoop). Naturally, when I was invited for a media-comped ice cream “social” at Cafe del Rey in Marina Del REH, I couldn’t resist. After the jump, check out pics of the various ice creams and toppings I sampled…

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Some of the toppings available to us. The options ranged from traditional (fresh berries, melon) to elegant (shaved white chocolate) to unorthodox (corn, beets).

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Up first: blueberry ice cream on the left; beet on the right. The blueberry was pretty good, which says a lot because I HATE blueberry. The beet, meanwhile, was delicious. Don’t turn your nose up at it, people. Beet ice cream is the future. Like a creamy dollop of borscht (in the best way).

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Unsurprisingly, the beet topping pairs quite nicely with the beet ice cream. Seriously, don’t be afraid.

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My arch nemesis: strawberry ice cream. I really hate strawberries (and yes, I realize I’m just as weird as people who don’t like ice cream), but that being said, I could still appreciate the fresh flavors in this ice cream. I’m sure any normal person would love this.

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Corn ice cream. This bad boy had a lot of promise. The first bite was filled with sweet, summery corn flavors, but subsequent mouthfuls just tasted like sugary cream — probably the result of not enough corn being steeped in the ice cream base beforehand. (This has been a common problem for me when I’ve made mint ice cream.) Now, don’t get me wrong — sugary cream is a lovely flavor (especially with bits of corn topping strewn in), but I was hoping for a deeper, richer corn experience. I mean, they don’t call me Deep Rich Corn for nothing.

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I believe we’re in sorbet territory now. On the left is peach and the right mango. I’m not a peach fan; so let’s just talk about the mango. This sorbet was creamy, refreshing, and full of bright mango flavor. Tropical fiends would do well to cram this in their mouths.

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Honeydew and plum. Yes, that light sorbet in foreground is plum, and it was fine; although, it didn’t wow me like some of the other offerings. Shockingly, I loved the honeydew sorbet. I think there may have been lime involved, which of course made it taste all the better.

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Watermelon and chocolate sorbets. Both of these were very strong. I’m happy to announce I’ve de-weirded myself by 1% upon the realization that I no longer hate watermelon. In fact, I enjoy it, and by extension I enjoyed this sorbet as well. The texture was very icy, almost like a granita, whereas the chocolate sorbet was smooth and creamy. So much mouthfeel. A TACTILE EXPERIENCE FOR ALL TO BEHOLD.

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Peanut butter ice cream. I mean, let’s just stop this madness already. If you only order one ice cream or sorbet, make it this one. Right on the money for texture, flavor, and whatever else you may want from an ice cream. Unless, of course, you have peanut allergies, in which case SARRY.

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Lastly, bacon ice cream. I’m a little (read: a lot) over ironic uses of bacon, but I still won’t turn them away. This fast-melting ice cream may have actually been my least favorite of everything we tried. It just tasted salty without feeling decadent. A bit of a misfire for me.

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Oh, and just for shits and giggles, we were given sangria-making kits. Cafe del Rey clearly does not have Summertime Sadness. Thanks, boo.

Cafe del Rey
4451 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 823-6395

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