Openings

Magpies Softserve Opens in Silver Lake With Free Swirls

By Lesley Balla  |  June 22, 2016
Credit: Magpies Softserve

Just like that, it's summer and over 80 degrees everywhere. That means ice cream getting churned out by the bucketfull at the many new scoop shops around town. But for us soft serve-lovers, there's a new swirl in town: Magpies Softserve, which opens in Silver Lake on June 23. And to celebrate, the shop is giving away free 4-oz. servings all-day for the opener.

Magpies is a sweet idea from chefs Warren and Rose Schwartz. He is currently head of culinary operations for the Munchery meal delivery service but was previously executive chef of Warren's Blackboard (now The Front Yard) in Studio City, and opened the Westside Tavern in West LA several years ago. She was a part of the pastry team at the latter. Now with two kids and the itch to get back into running their own place, they decided on ice cream. But not just any ice cream: soft serve, the kind that brings back memories of Dairy Queen-filled summers. 

Consider this chef-driven soft serve. Unlike other places that offer artisanal soft serve around town, the Schwartzs aren't using a premade base, and they'll have more than one or two flavors. "Unlike making artisanal ice cream, there's really no info out there on how to do soft serve," Warren says. "You have to get the fat just right, or it gets weird in the mouth. You have to get the air just right, or it gets runny. And you need the right emulsifiers or it feels heavy and doesn't melt right."

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They source all of their own ingredients, including cream, milk, fruits and flavorings — they're using Guittard chocolate, for instance — and worked with a company to get the right all-natural emulsifiers. The first menu includes seven flavors: strawberry-rhubarb, malted milk chocolate, sweet corn and almond, yuzu honey, chai coconut, cortadito (like a Cuban espresso) and a sweet cream. "That's our version of Dairy Queen 'white,'" Warren says. Toppings include chocolate honeycomb, hazelnut feuilletine, homemade sprinkles, Rice Krispie brittle, maple coconut chips, graham streusel and almond toffee crunch. You can definitely get two-flavor swirls, based on whatever flavors the two think go best (we're hoping at least one is malted milk chocolate and cortadito because that just sounds like a mocha dream).

Eventually there will be salted caramel and chocolate for sundaes and drizzles, cold-brew coffee floats, shakes made with seasonal fruit, and mini and large ice cream cakes. "We're looking at all possibilities but starting slow. We just want to focus and do what we can really well," the chef adds.

The little shop is located in a strip mall along the Hyperion corridor in Silver Lake, which is a prime location for swirling. Magpies will be open Sunday and Tuesday-Thursday 11 AM-9 PM and Friday and Saturday 11 AM-10 PM.

2660 Griffith Park Blvd.