Well, I'm no Wicked Witch of the West. I narrowly missed the rain, but you can see from the picture above that a storm is a-brewing. Not that it matters when you're spending the afternoon in The Mall.
Yes, The Mall: that towering parthenon of middle-class suburbia. This one was the Westfield Topanga in Canoga Park, a higher-class shopping center with squeaky clean marble-like floors, a dizzying array of food court eats, from Mediterranean to Japanese, and consumers clad in sharp heels, slouchy Balenciaga bags and pop art graphic Ts.
Look what I found! Melt Gelato & Crepe Cafe. Now, we have Melt Gelato in both Boston and New York, but they're hard to come by. It took me an hour and a half by the Red Line T to get to the Braintree location in Boston, and there's only one Melt Gelato in Manhattan -- compared to the 17 locations in California. In any case, I'm a fan of the airy, whipped-rich texture of gelato. I like browsing Boston's North End and Manhattan's Little Italy for a classic Stracciatella (Vanilla Chocolate Chip) or nutty Nocciola (Hazelnut).
While Melt's Tiramisu and Strawberry Cheesecake are also quite good, when I'm looking for something fruity and light, I opt for the Fresh Mango or Pomegranate. This time I tried the Fresh Red Raspberry Sorbet, and it really tasted like fresh, seedy raspberries -- no gimmicks. I can also vouch for the crepes and paninis. Try the Strawberry Royale crepe (fresh strawberries, bananas, nuts, chocolate or nutella) and the Tuscan panini (pesto, grilled chicken, provolone cheese, red peppers).
In fact, since tomorrow's Valentine's Day, why not take your date out for gelato and crepes? I'm not a big proponent of the mass commercialization of holidays, but if food is indeed the way to the heart, then by all means -- do not starve your lover!
Last summer, I even filled out a Melt Gelato application on the spur of the moment. At the time, I had dreams of moving out to San Francisco and working at the gelateria while interning at an arts & culture publication. While those plans didn't pan out, I found the questions on the application both thought-provoking and light-hearted -- not your average run-of-the-mill variety.
"Smiling is good for me because..."
"I love to perform for a crowd because..."
"I should be in the movies because..."
...You know, because I'm a rockstar.