If you made a list of all the grave acts of negligence in the world, "poorly made ice cream" would be reeeaaally low on that list. Like, not on the list.
And yet more than two months after I ate a cup of taro and black sesame ice cream from Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, my brain is still mildly seething. (My brain has little to seethe about, apparently.) Because ice cream is supposed to fill you with euphoric joy, and yet CICF's ice cream filled me with disappointment accented by a smidge of controlled rage.
First, I was annoyed by myself. I stopped eating CICF's taro and black sesame ice cream two years ago when it gave me sad face; I should've known what was coming to me. But in order to write my recent love letter to taro ice cream on Serious Eats, I felt it was my responsibility to try CICF again to see if it had changed over the last 700+ days or so.
And then I was mostly annoyed by CICF, because the ice cream (well, those two flavors at least) tasted pretty much the same as it had two years ago: low on flavor, low on creaminess, low on smoothness—low on everything you most want in ice cream while still somehow being ice cream. I don't enjoy bashing a local independent food business, but I also don't want anyone to waste their time on sadness-inducing ice cream, especially from a business that doesn't seem to care enough to make it better. (Besides, CICF is so famous, I doubt a negative blog post would hurt them in any way.)
Thankfully, there's another Chinese-run (I'm assuming) ice cream shop that does give a crap: Sundaes and Cones. Although I wouldn't recommend all of their flavors, their taro and black sesame are awesome—far more creamy, dense, and flavorful than CICF's. Unlike CICF, Sundaes and Cones use real taro in their ice cream, in addition to powdered taro flavor (I called both shops to find out, mmk?), and it shows in the ice cream's flavor—something like a combo of nutty, sweet potato-ey, vanilla-y, starchy, and floral.
They've also made at least one ice cream cake adorned with piles of micro-turds and flittering flies. If that doesn't command your utmost loyalty and respect, then...[slowly extends left arm to point to the nearest door].