Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Stricklands - Irvine

Nothing in life is as sweet as ice cream in summertime. To indulge in it during these hot months is always a forgivable sin. That diet can wait. It's summer after all.

In Irvine, the best place to treat oneself is Stricklands on Campus Drive.

Hailing originally from Ohio, this solitary California outpost of the franchise sells soft serve, freshly made out of gleaming churning machines that look like they belong in the engine room of a steamer ship. The ice cream produced by these metal contraptions is silken, devoid of ice crystals, and thoroughly smooth. Before Haagen Dazs hardens, it would taste like this.

Two special Flavors-of-the-Day are offered, along with Chocolate and Vanilla, which are always available. You can order it straight up in a cone or have it dolled up in a myriad of ways, including drizzled with toppings for a sundae or whipped into a cold shake.

When you order it as is, a unique conical scoop sculpts each serving into a shape out of Van Gogh's The Starry Night, with stiff, undulating curves that end in pointed peaks. This is Stricklands' signature -- something they probably should patent.

We had our vanilla soft serve with half a banana, some chocolate syrup, whipped cream, chopped nuts, and a Maraschino cherry. They called it a Banana Boat ($3.95). We called it "summer".

Stricklands Ice Cream
(949) 387-9955
4523 Campus Dr
Irvine, CA 92612

Interesting Trivia: Since our visit last summer, Stricklands has garnered a smattering of accolades from the local press, which they proudly framed. One that was featured more prominently than the others was from fellow food blogger and Chowhound, Professor Salt.


At 9:54 PM, Blogger Passionate Eater said...

Very poetic praise about ice cream! Beautiful Elmo, beautiful! Also, I love the "surprise" Wednesday post! (Although I always check for new posts early mornings on Mondays, I also check in your blog throughout the week to read your responses to the comments.) Your "surprise" post is like getting a free meal upgrade (see your analogous "chicken upgrade" in your last post)!

At 1:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of Ohio and ice cream, have you tried Graeter's? That stuff is great!'s

I tried Shinsengumi ramen, and I find the service to be all that great. No bowing or constant hovering. They were obsessed with making sure their pencils didn't leave their designated spots.

At 10:18 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


HAHA! I'm glad I surprised you! Being that the Stricklands ice cream run we made on Tuesday night was made on a lark (it was one of those perfect summer evenings), I wrote this quick one with the same breezy attitude. Thanks for being such a keen reader! I always appreciate your kind comments.


Unfortunately, by the looks of Graeter's official website, they haven't decided to make its way west. In the meantime, I'll be waiting!

At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Elmo - Wow, snuck one in one us, didn't you? Sure could use some ice cream on a hot day like today!

At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Stricklands review! I happened to glance at your blog - which hubby and I thoroughly enjoy - on our way out the door for dinner last night, and this place was the perfect topper to the warm, wonderful evening.

You're either one step ahead or on the same foot as the hubby and me when it comes to trying new food places in OC, and I'm always interested to see how our experiences and thoughts compare. Thanks again! =)

At 9:42 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


Thought I'd mix it up a little just this one. Even with a midweek post, I can never match the output you maintain. You're a well-oiled food-blogging machine!

miam miam,

New places are fun aren't they? But I hope I can keep up with you. Strickland's, however, I had to finally write about...I've been a fan of it for quite a long time.

At 5:47 PM, Blogger Juliet said...

It's up in the 90s here, and that sounds just heavenly.
On a related note, if you ever find yourself in A2 again, you must try Stucchi's! It's a local favorite.

At 1:41 AM, Blogger Kathy YL Chan said...

Ahhh! Ice cream, soft serve, or any frozen treat is a sure sign of summer! :)I think I'll celebrate with the last scoop of coffee Haagen Dazs in my freezer, lol!

At 3:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Ah, yes. Ice cream. I love the stuff and you can never have enough. In Phoenix, it is currently 114F, so the ice cream and gelato palaces are full. The taste of a delicious bowl of ice cream of gelato is the stuff of dreams here in the desert.

If you ever make it out this way, I will take you to Phoenix's version of Sticklands, which we call "Mary Coyle's" which has been in business for decades here.

Of course, any ice cream will have to be preceded by a cheese crisp.

Best wishes.

At 2:01 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Juliet and Kathy,

It ticked above a hundred in the daytime here in California this weekend. I was aching to get a cool soft serve at Stricklands, but paradoxically, this meant I had to go outside into a hot car!


If anyone deserves to indulge in ice cream it's you guys in Phoenix, where summer occurs for more days than anywhere else!

At 1:28 AM, Blogger toro said...

I live in japan.
I am studying about ice cream and sugary foods.
And I would especially like to collect data about ice cream.

Because of the link to your site.
We hope to link this site please!


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