South Bay residents with ties to the East Coast are familiar with frozen ice custard as it’s readily available there. I became aware of it when I vacationed in Milwaukee, WI where Kopp’s and Leon’s regularly compete to be the top custard spot.
So what is ice custard? Believe it or not, the FDA is involved when defining ice cream vs. ice custard. Ice custard differs from ice cream in that a small amount of egg yolk is added. The lecithin in the yolk is a natural emulsifier, which results in a richer and creamier texture.
Rita’s is headquartered in Philadelphia PA and is popular on the east coast. In fact, there are 8 different locations just in the state of Maryland.
Today, Rita’s is coming to the South Bay with a new location in Redondo Beach.
On their menu, they feature the following:
- Italian Ice
- Sundaes (frozen custard in a waffle bowl)
- Gelati (layers if frozen custard and Italian Ice)
- Misto (same as Gelati, but with a top and a straw)
- Blendini (A blend of Italian Ice, frozen custard and a ‘mix-in’)
Three flavors of frozen custard are offered daily. Chocolate and Vanilla are standard and they rotate a new flavor each week. This week’s flavor is ‘creamsicle’. Fourteen different flavors of Italian Ice — all made fresh daily — are available each day.
During a preview of the new store, I had the Gelati and decided on mango Italian Ice with vanilla ice custard. The custard didn’t disappoint and in my opinion, it was as good as Kopp’s. Combined with the mango Italian Ice, it made for a refreshing dessert and wasn’t too filling.
According to co-owners Joshua Pascua and Jacob Cosme, giving back is a major part of their strategy. They are closely partnered with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation which helps fight childhood cancer. In May, Rita’s of South Bay will be present to support the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation event at UCLA where they will be providing free Italian Ice.
Rita’s of South Bay is doing a soft open on Monday, April 8 and serving free Italian ice for all guests. You can find all the details on their Facebook Page. Store hours are 11 AM – 10 PM, 7 days a week.
- Rita’s of South Bay