Ice Cream Wars?

Owners of Studio City’s Local Ice hope their ice cream parlor can stand the heat of new competition.

Valley recent historians may remember what The Sauce likes to call the Great Taco Wars of 2013, when Studio City’s 51-year-old Henry’s Tacos lost its Googie-style restaurant at Moorpark Street and Tujunga Avenue to make way for a Cactus Taqueria. Luckily Henry’s Tacos resurfaced about a half-block south on Tujunga, though the original Henry’s sign ended up in Chatsworth’s Valley Relics Museum.

Well, they haven’t been open for 50 years, but Lisa Wood and Greg Gabel hope their year-old “Mom & Pop” shop Local Ice can survive and thrive with more newcomers in the ‘hood: Sweet Rose Creamery just opened its first Valley location two weeks ago in Tujunga Village, and Santa Barbara-based McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream will begin scooping on Studio City’s Ventura Place in December.

Lisa Wood and Greg Gabel

At Lisa and Greg’s invitation, The Sauce dropped in last week to see what Local Ice is all about. Despite the Ventura Boulevard address, you must take a turn off the Boulevard and down a long driveway to find the shop. But once there you’ll find an establishment that blends old-time malt shop atmosphere with today’s organic/artisanal sensibility. There’s also a huge adjacent parking lot open after 6 p.m. (regular spaces available in the daytime).

"Ice cream innovator" Matthew Harris will mix and match ingredients to fit your soda shop dreams

Lisa and Greg live in Sherman Oaks with children Samantha, 10, and Tommy, 6—how lucky is a kid to have ice cream parlor parents? Small-batch flavors are made on-site and include vegan offerings made with soy or coconut cream. East Coaster Lisa adds New York-style Italian ices and blasted seltzer sodas to the menu.

“We want to be the neighborhood ice cream parlor,” says Greg. “We wanted it to be place we’d want to bring our own kids.”

12747 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, 818-505-8111. Sunday thru Thursday, 1 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 1 to 11 p.m.

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