I was on a mission to find holiday decorations for the office. It was unseasonably cool for San Diego, despite it being December (upper 50s to low 60s). The sun was setting and I had come up empty-handed decorations-wise. The trip was not for nought, however, as my journey took me on a pleasant, late afternoon roundabout via Espola Drive to Scripps Ranch Parkway, where I knew an ice cream/coffee lounge existed. The general area is a strange mix of business parks clustered with a few large chain stores and gas stations; not exactly where you'd expect to find a good scoop. But finding Lappert's was like running into a best-kept secret. I had never heard of it and it sat between a Mexican and a Thai restaurant near a gas station. Turns out Lappert's began in Hawaii and features several "super premium" ice creams with coconut, macadamia nut, mango, and other tropical flavors. Super-premium means it's got a higher butter fat content with less air whipped into the process, which makes for a creamier, thicker, richer texture and flavor, the guy behind the counter told me. "Been written up in USA Today," he said, ticking off a few numbers. The process actually hails from France. I chose a small cup, which was more than enough when you're on the go, and picked "Cookie for Santa," a decadent peppermint ice cream with mint cookies and chocolate fudge swirled in. The colors are pink and white (not mint green), befitting the season. The taste was crisp and very minty, very authentic, with no aftertaste you sometimes get with other peppermint or mint ice creams. There are more standard flavors (chocolate peanut butter cup, strawberry, vanilla bean, even a few sorbet choices), but next time I'd go for the Kauai Pie, which is kona coffee, macadamia nut, toasted coconut, and chocolate fudge. Speaking of coffee, I was disappointed to see that they did not have any coffee that day. Apparently a function down the street neccessitated using the coffee makers, so no coffee was brewed in the store that day, though you can pick up bags of fresh coffee, ground or bean. As far as I could tell, there were no espresso drinks or coffee/ice cream drinks on the menu, but there were several menu items involving Dole pineapple. Piqued my interest, but not something I'd try until a third or fourth visit, after a few more ice cream tastings. The shop is small and did not have as much of a "lounge" or coffeehouse feel I expected. The lighting was a bit dim and there was a modern water/art sculpture at the store's entrance, which I thought was out of place, perhaps better suited for a restaurant than an ice cream shop. Lappert's definitely has a gourmet streak to its product, so maybe this design flourish fits right in. The price was reasonable. Though a small cup is $2.65, the ice cream is so dense that you fill up quickly. Spend a few more dollars and you have enough to last a few days, for two people, unless you're an ice cream addict, in which case you'll empty your cup in minutes. Size dictates the number of flavors you can choose, up to four our five flavors. Free samples are offered. I would have liked to have more flexibility in choosing flavors in smaller amounts. Overall a great place, if a bit out of the way, to pick up a quick treat while running errands, unless you don't mind hopping in the car for a somehwat longish drive. Beware of showing up between meals...the guy behind the counter will ask you what your plans for dinner are. Pretty hilarious. Customers' answers ranged from "having a late dinner" to "I had a late lunch." No one's willing to say, "Um, I'm having ice cream for my dinner." But if you do want ice cream for dinner, this is the place, bien sur.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.