Thursday, April 12, 2018

Confetti Italian Ice & Custard, Costa Mesa

When in SoCal, what do you do?  Seek out amazing frozen desserts, clearly!

Except, it wasn't actually very warm during my recent trip to Costa Mesa, and, it was winter, so dark by the time I got out of work each day.

Still, I had a list of places to check out, so, I still went.  I just put on a jacket, and pretended I was home.

High on my list was Confetti Italian Ice & Custard, a funny name for the place, as, they also have ice cream (and more ice cream than custard).
Ice Cream, Soft Serve Custard, Italian Ice!
The choices were overwhelming.

Confetti has Italian Ice, in 16 flavors.  And traditional hard serve ice cream, also 16 flavors.  And then, the soft serve, 4 flavors of custard, and 2 Dole whips.  All house made.

Overwhelming.  You can sample however many you want, and mix and match between types in a dish.

Did I mention, overwhelming?
Italian Ice: 16 flavors.
I'm not one for gelato or italian ice normally, but, everyone raves about the italian ice here, so, I had to try.  Plus, I've never seen things like peanut butter flavored italian ice!

The full lineup on my visit was a slew of fruity flavors (banana, strawberry, mango, lemon, watermelon, blue raspberry, cherry, orange, pineapple, sour apple, lychee, passion fruit) and then the more interesting peanut butter, chocolate chip, mint chocolate, and horchata.

The texture really was quite unique, more fluffy than I imagined possible for something scooped from a bin.  Not really icy ... although it was ice of course.  Very refreshing and flavorful.  I wished I had tried the peanut butter.
Ice Cream: 16 Flavors!
Next, traditional hard serve ice cream, also in 16 flavors.  I don't generally go for hard ice cream at shops, since, it doesn't seem worth paying a premium for something I can get at a grocery store (unlike soft serve), but, the flavors here were interesting enough, that I was tempted.

There was something for everyone.  Want chocolate and mix ins? You could pick mint crumbs, nutella almond crunch, Oreo milkshake, chocolate chip cookie dough, brownie bites, or rocky road.  Feeling traditional?  Coffee, butter pecan, and chunky strawberry were your options (nope, no plain chocolate or vanilla here!).  "Exotic" options were taro, green tea, and thai tea.  And then the crazy: lemon velvet, birthday cake, twinkie, and unicorn cereal.

I was drawn in by the unicorn cereal (I know, I'm a victim of social media), but when I found out it was Lucky Charms, I decided against it.  Meh to lucky charms.


I first tried the taro.  It was amazing.  Phenomenal taro flavor.  Perfect creamy consistency.  Incredible.

Next, I tried the birthday cake.  I loved the sprinkles and the fact that it had chunks of cake in it, but, it was crazy sweet.  Too sweet for me.  Still, very good ice cream.
Soft Serve.
And finally, soft serve.

Four flavors of custard (chocolate, vanilla, NY Cheesecake, and cookie butter) and two types of Dole Whip (lemon or pineapple).

I expected that the custard would be what I primarily went for.  Italian ice isn't exciting to me in any way, and like I said, hard ice cream isn't novel. I'm a soft serve girl, and soft serve custard is even better.

I tried the cookie butter first, and although I liked the creamy consistency, the flavor was too subtle for me.  The NY Cheesecake was similar, great texture, but, I wasn't really into the flavor.  I was let down by the custards.
Menu.
Now, what to do with all the options?  Most people go for parfaits, basically, a cup or cone with whatever you want in it: "Layers of ice, custard, and soft serve any way you like it."  Another interesting option is the "Pizelle Sammies", Italian waffle cookies in assorted flavors, filled with soft serve, dipped in chocolate, and rolled in toppings.  There are also some pre-designed specials, like "Apple Pie a la Mode" with warm cinnamon apples, graham cracker crumbs, and cinnamon sauce, or "S'mores" with chocolate chip ice, horchata ice, cookie butter soft serve, graham cracker crumbs, marshmallow creme, and chocolate sauce.  And finally, Italian sodas, flavored lemonades, and flavored ice tea.

The menu does not include a simple single scoop of anything, a small parfait (which would be 3 scoops) is the smallest you can get.

They also have some toppings, but they weren't listed anywhere, and I was so overwhelmed with all my choices that I decided not to complicate things.  Sauces, nuts, sprinkles ... no more decisions!
Small Parfait: Horchata italian ice, Taro ice cream, Vanilla soft serve custard. $5.
My parfait was entirely based around the taro ice cream.  I decided to get one of each type of item: one scoop ice cream, one scoop italian ice, and custard.

The ice cream choice was a no brainer.  The taro was really, really good.  Amazing taro flavor.  I loved it.

I wanted to put an italian ice in the mix to lighten it up and to try more than just a sample.  Peanut butter sounded great, but I knew that wouldn't pair with taro.  Coconut might have been a good match, but alas, not one of the 16 options.  Maybe I should have done lychee?  Instead, I went for horchata.  It was lightly cinnamony, a bit of an odd pairing (but my server told me it was a good one with taro ....).  I'm glad I got to experience good italian ice, but without a good flavor pairing, I'd probably skip in the future.

And finally, I opted for the vanilla soft serve custard, without trying it, since I didn't really care for the others I tried.  It was amazingly creamy, but a bit sour.  I really wanted toppings on it, and wished I had opted for a sauce or other topping.

Overall, I'm glad I went for something like this, and tried everything.  But at the end of the day, I really just wanted more taro ice cream.  

Next time: taro ice cream with toppings.  Nothing else needed.

This was the smallest size, and, small it was not.  $5 is a lot for a small, but, given the size, and the number of samples I had (!), it was a fine value.
Confetti Italian Ice & Custard Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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