The Big Chill

McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams scoops into Studio City.

A fixture in Santa Barbara for nearly 70 years, McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams was doing “artisan” decades before it became vogue. On the heels of opening their first satellite location at the Grand Central Market downtown, the ice creamery is opening a brick-and-mortar shop in Studio City in July. It mimics the “dairy-heritage-meets-modern-world” vibe of the original location.

McConnell’s is run by husband/wife team Michael Palmer and Eva Ein, the third generation of family owners.

“While we make our home in Santa Barbara, many of us at McConnell’s are proud, native Angelenos. Studio City, in particular, holds a special place in my heart, as I practically grew up there and attended both grammar school and high school close by at Oakwood School,” says Michael.

Michael handles the business side, while Eva—a renowned chef and restaurateur—
masterminds the enticing roster of flavors. Noteworthy creations include Olive Oil & Salted Almonds, Eureka Lemon & Marionberries and Sea Salt Cream & Cookies.

With her team she also creates all the toppings, including jams, preserves, candy shards, crisps and crumbles—all in-house. A pastry chef  helps make the baked “mix-ins” as well as the signature cookies with ingredients such as Guittard chocolate, espresso and cardamom.

The ice cream is made at McConnell’s dairy completely from scratch using only organic, sustainable ingredients sourced from Santa Barbara farms. The product is frozen via a unique French pot process rather than in large-batch freezers. Prepared with 18% milk fat, there is little air—alas, the extraordinarily creamy result.

Twenty-two flavors as well as some rotating, limited-edition varieties (Summer Fruit Cobbler) are available—and of course, the McConnell classics: peppermint stick, Turkish coffee, salted caramel chip and their much ballyhooed basic: Golden State vanilla. After all, the true test for really sensational ice cream is the caliber of its vanilla. On that alone, McConnell’s leads the pack.

12075 Ventura Place Studio City