The Mashti Malone's sign has always been a hot mess. There's Arabic writing, English writing, a giant ice cream cone and a four leaf clover. L.A. Times calls it "culturally confusing." But it's a relieving visage a town where suburban outskirts are building out homogenized strip malls, with tidy store logos sharing one big sign. Inside of giant parking lots, these strip malls are styled like Mexican haciendas with clay-tiled roofs, but with Japanese pergolas. Don't ask.
Too boring for Mashti wackiness:
Little did I know that Mashti Malone's was the epicenter of a delicious movement. I attended a studio party where they had catered sweets, and that's when I realized they were more than just an ice cream joint with a sarcastic name.
They used pure ingredients before using pure ingredients was cool. Whole Foods took note and started selling pints in their stores. Bon Appetit and LA Weekly covered them in their publications. But Angelenos can get healthy ice cream from anywhere, so why Mashti Malone's? It's their exotic flavors, popular in the Middle East, such as: rosewater saffron, orange blossom and pistachio.
Upstarts will imitate and maybe even master these recipes one day. But these are old school, and passed down from Iranian family members. You can't uncover their recipe secrets. And if you move into a modern homogenized strip mall, you certainly can't have their sign.