Frozen Custard Finally Comes to LA; Rita’s Opens in Redondo Beach

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.

The Menu at Rita's Frozen Custard

The Menu at Rita’s Frozen Custard

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’)
  • Milkshakes

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.

The line at Rita's of South Bay

The line at the counter during a preview of Rita’s of South Bay.

Adding the frozen custard

Adding the frozen custard.


Gelati - Mango Italian Ice with Vanilla Frozen Custard

Gelati:   Mango Italian Ice with Vanilla Frozen Custard.

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.

Co-owners Jacob Cosme and Joshua Pascua

Co-owners Jacob Cosme and Joshua Pascua

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.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

About the Author

Follow Bryan on twitter for the latest and greatest in food trucks and street food. @btsunoda.

3 Responses to “Frozen Custard Finally Comes to LA; Rita’s Opens in Redondo Beach”

  1. Frozen custard coming to LA is not the issue; it’s staying that’s the problem. With only 3 flavors a day, I fear Rita’s will suffer the same fate as Lickety Split in El Segundo.

  2. What about the frozen ice in addition to the custard? Will that help them be sustainable in the long run? Also, Lickety Split was seasonal if I recall. Will being open year round make the difference? Thanks for your comment!

  3. I’m eager to try this place out. Never had frozen custard before. A shop opened up in my college town but shut down before I had the chance to try. I hope this shop doesn’t suffer the same fate.