Although I'm not a huge fan of ice cream, I've been finding quite a few places with unique ice cream. Mashti Malone's is unique because the ice cream includes exotic flavors from the co-owners native Iran. The store belongs to two brothers, Mashti, who has been making ice cream since he was a child, and Mehdi Shirvani, who grew up in a small town in northern Iran. They bought the establishment in 1980 which at the time was an ice cream store called Mugsy Malone.
Initially the store sold almost all of its ice cream wholesale, to more than 300 Persian and Armenian restaurants whose customers love the Rosewater flavors that reminded them of home. (Rosewater is the No. 1 dessert flavoring in the Middle East, much like Vanilla here.)
Sometime in the late '90's, after an intense marketing push to persuade every non-Iranian who walked into the ice cream store to try it, people in the neighborhood started catching on. Today, Mashti Malone's is a fixture in the neighborhood, satisfying locals who flock to the store on weekends. They use fresh ingredients like rosewater, saffron, cardamom, pistachio, and orange blossom among many others and do not use any preservatives, eggs, or artificial flavors or colorings.
We went on a fairly hot week day. We were surprised to find the shop in a strip mall but the sign was clear. They have ice cream, sorbet, and herbal snow. We tried quite a few flavors before deciding on what we would have. Liz got lavender ice cream and rosewater herbal snow in a bowl and I got Mashti Sandwich with Rosewater Saffron with Pistachios. The Mashti Sandwich is ice cream in between two wafers. All their flavors are light and refreshing. It didn't take much effort to finish our respective selections.
Mashti Malone's now supplies more than 200 restaurants in SoCal with rosewater ice cream, or with his widely popular Mashti ice cream sandwiches. If you don't have an opportunity to go to the store, look for them when you're eating out. It's a dessert you won't forget.