The Dish List: Creamistry

What: Creamistry

Where: 3972 Barranca Parkway Ste D. Irvine, 92606

How Much: $5-7

Hours: Mon-Sat: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Rating: 5/5

Creamistry is Irvine’s fresh and attractive new spot. After only five weeks of opening its doors, the shop can boast of lines that stretch out the door on a regular basis — this, even before the grand opening two weeks ago. New guests had the opportunity to snag a free scoop of the ice cream between 12 and 4 p.m.

Phuc Pham | New University

Phuc Pham | New University

Upon walking in, I thought I was at Pinkberry. The two appear to have the same color scheme of pink, blue and green pastels plastered about the walls and seating, cartoon bubbles placed here and there. However, the scent of waffle cones tells customers that this is not your health yogurt shop, but rather something all the more appealing.

So what is it about this ice cream place that draws such a crowd, one that gives Coldstone Creamery a run for its money? For starters, both companies mix toppings into their ice cream by hand. However, Creamistry adds a chemical spin to the process that makes it extra fresh and thoroughly satisfying — the employees inject their ice cream bases with liquid nitrogen, which appears to those outside the glass cases as billowing clouds of ice. From the outside, these machines simply look like large blenders. It truly is a childlike form of entertainment, watching it all happen. Because liquid nitrogen is so cold, it makes the milk particles in the bases stay very small and doesn’t form into ice crystals. This is what makes it so creamy. It is made to order too; they don’t mix the two components till you order it.

For me, the ordering part was the trickiest. I found myself looking at the overwhelmingly large menu for a good 10 minutes before making a selection that one of the employees suggested: horchata with cookie dough pieces. There are over 20 flavors to choose from, and some of them can get pretty unique, ranging from black sesame to Thai tea to coffee creamer. If you’re not a fan of the “creamy” part of Creamistry, they have you covered as well: you can replace the dairy base with a sorbet base or a soymilk base. To top it all off, they make milkshakes out of these flavors as well. With all these choices, I guess the saying definitely goes: “It’s better too much than not enough.”

“Too much” is certainly Creamistry’s policy: even the small size I purchased was a hearty amount of ice cream. They weren’t lying when they claimed how creamy it was because I couldn’t even finish the cup. The cookie dough pieces in it just seemed to add up to a second meal after lunch.

The pricing isn’t too bad either. You pay about the same amount that you would at any other specialty ice cream store. However, for the amount that you’re getting it’s certainly a good deal. In addition, you can get 10% off your order when you “like” their page on Facebook. Is it just me or is this becoming a common trend amongst food locations lately?

Despite having heard about these large lines, I must have come at a good time because there weren’t very many people inside. I only had to wait about five minutes for my order to come out. So folks, if you don’t want to get stuck in those insane lines, I’d suggest going during the week between regular business hours, 12-4 p.m. Anybody remember the two-month-long craze of lines that Sprinkles Ice Cream dealt with when it first opened?

There’s a good amount of seating inside, but not so much outside. Don’t think of coming here to hang out with your friends on those crowded days that I keep mentioning.

Lastly, the store is at a good location too — it’s right around the corner from Urban Plates, Peet’s Coffee and Target, which are in the same plaza. You can knock out a couple of errands while you’re in the area.

Overall, Creamistry is definitely an innovative way to enjoy ice cream. Avoid it at all costs if you’re on a diet, though. That cream comes at a price.