The scent of waffle cones permeates the air on a corner of Abbot Kinney, and the fragrance lightens an already dreamlike setting. Sandals clothe every other passerby, and even more are wearing sunglasses as respite from a hot mid-winter sun. Salt and Straw, the ice cream shop and the culprit of the sugary perfume, fits into this setting seamlessly: the weather will almost always be kind to it, and its of-the-moment flavors are ideal for a place that is consistently on trend. But aside from its new reputation, there’s a timeless quality to it that provides substance. This isn’t just a place to try a small-batch concoction. It’s also a spot that recognizes what will never go out of style: a cheerful escape where scoops can simply put a smile on your face.
Step past the striped awning and into the shop, where a mix of childlike pastels contrast wood accents. Ice cream flavors are written in chalk above their respective gallons, and a white marble countertop separates them from the crowd. Try the popular sea salt with caramel ribbons, with its salt sourced from Guatemala and caramel made in-house. Or, opt for the rich taste of honey lavender alongside the creamy Stumptown coffee and Compartes love nuts. Classic songs will be playing overhead as your perfect scoops are formed into a cone, which may still be warm from the iron. Take that first lick, and feel your surroundings soften. It may be nothing more ice cream on a clear day, but that will always be just what you need.