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Desert Companion

Dessert: Taste the Rainbow

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Ube (purple yam) ice cream at Asia Creamery
Photo by Brent Holmes

Ube (purple yam) ice cream at Asia Creamery

Rainbow Boulevard, that is, home to a robust group of cool ice cream shops

The short stretch of Rainbow Boulevard between the 215 Beltway and Windmill Lane is a smorgasbord of cuisines and cafés. Among them are seven — that’s right, seven — ice cream parlors. The reason they’re all able to coexist is that they offer distinct adventures. In the name of journalistic research, I tried five of them in the span of three days. You’re welcome.

 

Sweetspot Nitrogen Ice Cream

The nitrogen ice cream at Sweetspot is a paragon of texture and flavor — it glides on the tongue with ease and firmness. Among the flavor combinations, the Café Sua Da stands out as a fantastic frosty rendition of Vietnamese coffee, elevating buzz to a new level. As your ice cream is prepared, scope out the ideal site for your selfie. If your feed is in need of some green, try the grass backdrop adorned with “Make It Sweet.” If your brand is grittier, the faux brick wall will work. Regardless, your ice cream will be delicious once you get around to eating it. 6830 S. Rainbow Blvd., 702-629-6200

 

Asia Creamery

The walls surrounding the limited seating area are painted in lively shades of avocado, mango, and bubblegum — the atmosphere is akin to being hosted in someone’s happy home. Someone who has invited you to sample all the amazing ice cream they’ve made. Filipino favorites such as ube (purple yam) and jackfruit round out an eclectic, fruit-forward selection. The flavors can be enjoyed in several formats, soft serve, scoops, and sandwiches. The Halo-Halo (loosely translated as Mix-Mix) combines layers of fruit, shaved ice, evaporated milk, and ice cream into a refreshing and fulfilling dessert ready to battle our desert’s soon-to-be-arriving heat. 7460 S. Rainbow Blvd., 702-272-0212

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Creamberry

Trippy hits of the late 2010s greet you when you enter. A black wall is festooned with laminated images of customers’ Instagram posts. The menu delights with an avalanche of tastes, from rolled ice cream to shaved ice. This is not a quaint Soda Shoppe. The music, décor, and menu are formulated to attract millennials and Gen Z. This is a case presented strongly by one of the most popular items on the menu, the Cotton Candy Burrito — a shareable Technicolor treat worthy of Willy Wonka himself, if Mr. Wonka wore his top hat ironically and paired it with skinny jeans. Excavating rich cotton candy ice cream from beneath a cotton candy wrap is a pleasure we dared not dream of until now. Creamberry caters not only to the ’gram, but first and foremost to your taste buds. 965 S. Rainbow Blvd. #140, 702-863-2385

 

Creamistry

White clouds cascade through a narrow vent in the clear partition separating the prep area from the dining area. The smell of vanilla teases you to guess whether its source is baking waffle cones or the candied toppings. In other words, there’s a lot to keep you occupied while you wait for your nitrogen-frozen ice cream to be prepared from scratch. But your patience will be rewarded, particularly if you’ve selected one of the specialties. Each Signature Creation features a balanced mix of creamy, crunchy, and coated. The Cookie Monster Signature Creation, for example, would do its namesake proud. The blue ice cream base tastes like a chocolate-chip cookie, not cookie dough, an important distinction achieved due to a proprietary blend. Science has never tasted this good. 7325 S. Rainbow Blvd., creamistry.com

 

Nourish Creamery and Juice Bar

This parlor looks like if your girly friend’s college dorm room grew into an artisanal ice cream shop. A grey and wood color palette does a phenomenal job of conjuring the all-too-familiar hipster aesthetic, but here it manages to convey real warmth. The ice cream is prepared on the premises, in small batches, and changes often. Vegan options are a bit more crumbly in texture but still pack a wallop’s worth of zing and zest. The Mini Cone Flight allows customers to sample up to six choices, a true blessing as you won’t want to pass up flavors such as Passion Fruit Cheesecake, Earl Grey Lavender, Frosted Animal Cookie, Black Sesame, Taro, or Strawberry Horchata. 7625 S. Rainbow Blvd., nourishcreameryandjuicebar.com

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