Ice Cream Lab Scooping Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream in Pasadena

The burgeoning ice cream chain opens in second location in Pasadena—new locations around L.A. will soon follow

Cue the smoke machines. Liquid nitrogen ice cream could be moving from quirky trend to actual L.A. thing if all goes to plan for Ice Cream Lab.

Building on the momentum of their popular Beverly Hills shop, co-founders Joseph Lifschutz and Tommy Ngan just opened a second location in Old Town Pasadena last week and will soon follow it up with new stores in Westlake and Little Tokyo. Their new spot is just one of many ice cream concepts, including Baskin Robbins, 21 Choices, Pinkberry and Yogurtland, in Old Town Pasadena. However, presentation might help set Ice Cream Lab apart from the pack—every scoop and milkshake is frozen to order with liquid nitrogen in custom-built machines, and with all the frosty smoke produced during the churning, the whole process is quite dramatic.

Theatrics aside, the actual ice cream is top-notch. A base of organic cream creates pure flavor while the quick freezing makes for a super-creamy consistency. Customers can choose from six different flavors, which include mix-ins like Magnolia Bakery blue velvet cupcakes, salted pretzels, and caramel. We love the Banilla, made with bananas and Nilla Wafers, though traditionalists might prefer the strawberry ice cream, with luscious chunks of fresh berries, or the chocolate, which is “cooked” down with real cocoa.

Ice Cream Lab, 16 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, 310-795-6505