Popular restaurateurs bring unique frozen novelties to a new L.A. locale
Written by Wendy Bowman | Photography Courtesy of Ryan Tanaka
When Top Chef season 14 winner Brooke Williamson and her husband and partner Nick Roberts opened the four-in-one beachside restaurant complex Playa Provisions in Playa del Rey in 2014, the restaurateurs/chefs envisioned a day when each of the establishment’s concepts would emerge independent. Fast-forward to today, and the culinary couple has opened its second Small Batch artisanal ice cream shop in Mar Vista, complete with plenty of unusual, seasonally-driven ice cream and frozen treats for children and adults alike.
“The nostalgia of what we do and how we do it is very well-represented at Playa Provisions, and much appreciated by the locals there, so we felt like Small Batch could definitely stand on its own,” says Williamson, whose husband-and-wife Company for Dinner Hospitality Group also is known for other local concepts such as Hudson House in Redondo Beach, The Tripel and Tripli-Kit in Playa del Rey, and Da Kikokiko in Playa Vista.
“The reason we brought Small Batch to Mar Vista is we thought it was a concept lacking in an up-and-coming beach community…there was nowhere to get a proper scoop of ice cream.”
Taking up residence in the former Sweet Lucie’s ice cream shop on Venice Boulevard, Small Batch features a family-friendly, community-driven atmosphere. Think fun music; soaring ceilings; a light-gray wraparound counter; vintage, seafoam-green light fixtures; and a colorful custom mural of a boy eating ice cream in a park by local artist Bumble Bee Loves You running the length of an entire wall. Outdoor seating is found via picnic tables on the patio.
As for the star of the show, Williamson and Roberts brainstormed with Playa Provisions pastry chef Lindsay Kirk to come up with the shop’s unusual ice cream flavors and treats.
Among the highlights: house-made flavors such as Birthday Cake, Banana Cream Pie, Vegan Chocolate Coconut, Fresh Sweet Corn, Lemon with Strawberry Pop Rocks and “Cereal” Killer (a frozen take on Lucky Charms), plus frozen novelties like Mint Oreo Ice Cream Pie, White Chocolate Thai Tea Pops, Fresh Raspberry Popsicles and Chocolate Dipped Bananas with sprinkles.
Custom sundaes, milkshakes, ice cream sandwiches, slices of birthday cake, cookie dough scoops and rotating soft-serve flavors also are available.
Looking for the ultimate indulgence? Try the Unicorn Sundae boasting 10 scoops of ice cream, various toppings, whipped cream, hot fudge and a cherry topped with a “uni-cone” (chocolate dipped waffle cone) and sparkler.
“We’re a really approachable, family-friendly spot where my son enjoys going to after school every day,” says Williamson. “We’re excited to have the neighborhood support us, and we’re excited everybody seems really happy that we’re there. We hope we can continue to keep people happy and stay for a while.”
12222 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066
424.289.9552 | smallbatchicecreamery.com