Last Saturday, the first Southern California branch of CREAM (Cookies Rule Everything Around Me) opened in University Gateway, an apartment/shopping complex located adjacent to the University of Southern California's University Park Campus in Los Angeles, California. Based out of Northern California, CREAM aims to provide reasonably cost, proprietary and high quality products with friendly service in a "fun and relaxed atmosphere," and is an extremely popular dessert outlet in Northern California.
CREAM happened to offer free ice cream sandwiches (normally 2.99 USD) to all customers on their opening day, so I decided to I checked it out. There was quite a queue outside during opening night (took around 30 minutes!), but music from KXSC radio, a raffle for more free CREAM sandwiches, cheerful and motivated employees, and a complimentary drink holder made the wait doable.
Inside, CREAM was bustling, with lots of employees running around, scooping ice cream, picking off freshly-baked cookies from trays, and applying toppings to various products. As a new visitor, my attention immediately went into the the menu, which had a wide array of cookies, ice creams, and toppings to choose from. From the typical chocolate chip cookie to vegan cookies or lemon cookies, and from the regular ice cream flavors like chocolate chip cookie dough and strawberry to lesser seen ones like green tea, deciding what items to choose definitely took some time!
In addition to ice cream sandwiches, the regular menu offered other options, including ice cream cones, CREAM tacos, sundaes, brownies, and more.
I ended up choosing a turtle cookie (chocolate with caramel and peanuts), white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookie, and toasted almond ice cream with some added crushed almonds for good measure.
The ice cream sandwich was definitely of quality! Notable were the warm, freshly baked cookies, which were both chewy on the inside, and fragrant and crisp on the outside. Both were not too sweet either--the turtle had an interesting contrast between the dark, deep cocoa cookie base, crunchy peanuts, and hardened caramel, while the white chocolate macadamia played on its nutty flavors. Moreover, the toasted almond ice cream was delicious-- creamy, not too smooth, and accented further with almond extract-- while the crushed almonds were plentiful and provided additional textural contrast. Combining the three together proved to be fun mixture of three dimensions--a lighter ice cream with a medium flavored macadamia cookie and a richly flavored turtle cookie.
With or without the promotion, CREAM has already gained a solid footing around the community with its quality options and reasonable prices, and it will be interesting to see its impact in the desserts category as more locations open up in Southern California in the coming future.
CREAM (Cookies Rule Everything Around Me)
3335 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Tel: (213) 742-9090