Sweet Crush Ice Bar opened today in Brentwood Village, introducing San Vicente to an inventive new take on Asian shaved ice. Owner Yael Lustmann tells Grub Street that the store is her "fourth child," as it was her first three human children who inspired the idea by their constant scraping of ice from the family fridge, which they would then flavor with condensed milk. Lustmann took the idea further, developing her own recipes of handmade, seasonal flavors for two varities of shaved ice.
There's the machine-shaved, milk-based streamers known as "Sweet Crush," which include such flavors as earl grey, real vanilla bean, espresso, chocolate, coconut, and peanut butter. The other type finds fruit frozen into snow using water-based, fruit-flavored crystals that are custom-frozen by machine into dry ice for "Pure Crush" flavors like grapefruit ginger, strawberry lemon, pink guava, lychee, and mojito.
The space is a winter wonderland (a fireplace is still under construction) featuring a white wall of laser-perforated snowflakes, back-lit by a kaleidoscope of changing colors. The chairs you see here will soon be replaced with a custom banquette while the rear of the store has a few stadium benches and iPads for kids to put their sticky fingers all over.
The ices come in three sizes, along with toppings like chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, chocolate pebbles, curls of strawberry, white, and milk chocolate, fresh fruit (pineapple, kiwi, mango, and grapes, to name a few), mini peanut butter cups, M&Ms, shredded coconut, and nuts, and the business is open seven days a week.
Hours are 11:30 A.M. to 11:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, and weekends from 11:00 A.M. to midnight. A full menu of options can be found on PDF.
Sweet Crush Ice Bar, 11753 San Vicente Blvd. Brentwood.