OK, forget gelato. This is L.A., we might as well stick to Persian or Mexican ice cream. After brunch at Farmer's Market (borek with bacon and eggs for Matt, huevos con calabacitas for me) we tried Mateo's Ice Cream & Fruti Bars, a Mexican ice cream parlor in a mini-mall at Pico just west of Crenshaw. I was hoping for even more flavors of paletas (Mexican popsicles), but the tamarindo I tried was intensely flavored, definitely one of the best. Mateo's makes an ice cream flavor that makes the rosewater at Mashti Malone's look like Kool-Aid. Leche quemada ice cream is usually translated as "burnt milk," like the Mexican milk fudge I love. But Mateo translates it as "smoked milk," and he isn't kidding! This stuff tastes a lot like you dropped your vanilla ice cream in an ashtray...but in a good way. I think I'll be back soon for a whole cone of the stuff. It's definitely an acquired taste, so get a tasting spoon before you commit to a cone. And be sure to try the wonderfully fruity paletas (tuna fruit, anyone?).
Mateo's Ice Cream & Fruti Bars
4222 W. Pico Blvd.