My little family and I recently sought sweet treat refuge in Magpies Softserve after a particularly grueling week. We had made it to the shop’s Silverlake neighborhood on an uncharacteristically chilly September evening. It was almost too cool outside to eat a frozen treat, but we pushed through in our quest for delicious soft-serve ice cream. We were really happy we did, because the stuff is delicious. We were in a conundrum since it was 8pm and we hadn’t eaten dinner yet – plus, Magpies was going to close in an hour. There was no way we would risk the place being closed after we ate dinner, so we did what any self-respecting foodie family would do: we had dessert first. No one got hurt…I promise. Besides, it was extra fun to visit our former haunt, Astro Family Restaurant, later at night. Somehow, a patty melt seems to taste better after hours. A cool fringe benefit: we could see the apartment my husband and I lived in over twenty years ago when we were just getting our footing as fringe-punk-rebel-weirdos (what you youngsters call hipsters nowadays).
Magpies is fairly new, but chef-owners Rose and Warren have had no trouble gaining a small army of faithful followers. Rose is Korean-American, born and raised in South Florida, and Warren is from California. The Magpies website tells us that, on a visit to a Dairy Queen, they decided they wanted to open a shop that was a more “chef-y” version of DQ. They started making from-scratch soft-serve flavors and homemade toppings that reflected their upbringing, cultures, and heritage. Apparently, the public appreciated this experiment, because Magpies is wildly popular. We feel like we’re a little late to the party, because we just visited Magpies for the first time this week. But we have no problem making up for lost time.
Once inside Magpies on our first visit, we surveyed the menu, the toppings, and all the options. We also noticed a cool spray-paint corrugated metal art piece on the side wall in front. Topping options are displayed in cool glass bottles with tiny chalkboard labels, as is a countertop chalkboard sign listing the soft-serve flavors du jour.
Be forewarned: Magpies doesn’t have much seating – only some benches situated against the left-side wall. It can get very crowded inside the tiny space, so expect a line and a bit of a wait. Before I tasted anything, my “chef-spidey-sense” told me the corn-almond and sweet cream flavors were going to be especially delicious. We tasted a couple of flavors each (there’s a limit of two samples per person). All I can say is my aforementioned instinct is right-on, because the corn-almond and sweet cream options almost made me cry. I kept asking my husband what he was going to get, because I wanted to taste two different combinations. He couldn’t figure out what he was going to opt for until the last minute, and we ended up getting the same combination of flavors. I’ll never forgive him for that. Okay, I will. But it will take a while.
After much deliberating, I settled on blood orange creamsicle swirled with corn-almond (both vegan and non-dairy) with candied pecans (my favorite thing on this earth) and delicious house-made caramel sauce topping.
There is a slight limitation in swirled combinations. Only the two flavors in each bracket are able to be swirled with each other. Otherwise, you’d have to get two separate flavors (Yeah, I know. Double the soft-serve. What a shame!). Hubby got the same swirl of soft-serve flavors as I did, but he opted for white chocolate waffle cone pieces and caramel sauce on top.
My daughter decided on the sweet cream flavor with caramel sauce and chocolate cookie crumbs.
I loved the blood orange creamsicle flavor that I chose with my corn-almond option, but I kind of wished I hadn’t gotten the two flavors swirled together because I ended up wanting double the amount of corn-almond. It was that good. I almost confiscated my daughter’s order as well, because it was painfully delicious. Thankfully for her, I abated.
We left Magpies with lots of warm fuzzies inside, knowing we just partook in something very special. I also predict that Magpies will quickly outgrow this space – which is a good thing, because we need to have easier access to all the yumminess they have to offer. Here’s a picture of Warren serving some customers. When you visit, make sure to thank him for making life a little bit sweeter.