From the outside, Nitrolado doesn't stand out like its liquid nitrogen ice cream rivals. The medium-sized sign for the parlor, barely visible from busy Westminster Avenue, is overshadowed by even bigger, more colorful, neighboring signs for an OB-GYN, an orthodontist, and a salon. But with unique flavors, cool cups, and edible bowls, Nitrolado doesn't need an accident-causing sign to draw in customers.
With 21 different flavors to choose from, this trip can be a struggle for indecisive folks. For those looking to keep things simple, order flavors like cookies and cream, chocolate, or the Sea Camel (yes—sea camel): salted caramel ice cream topped with torched marshmallows, then doused in caramel. Looking for multiculti mashups? Go for green Thai tea, mango chamoy, or durian avocado. Top it all off with Fruity Pebbles, Oreos, mochi, and other sugary treats.
As orders roll in, the joint suddenly fills with clouds, courtesy of the two nitrogen tanks on either side of the counter. But as the nitro masters hand over the goods, the ice cream itself seems to be vaping. By putting an ice cream cup over another cup filled with dry ice and hot water, this sweet spot has created a way to continue the clouds as you eat. Did they invent this? Hard to say, but it's definitely something you've probably have never seen before.
The nitrogen clouds aren't the only things that greet customers. The smell of something sweet and fried hangs in the air—churros. For an extra crunch, choose between cinnamon, Oreo, matcha, raspberry, and coffee churro bowls to hold your frozen treat in. You'll have to give up the continuous vaping and a couple more dollars, but the warm, crispy dough paired with cold ice cream is worth it.
By the time you finish chowing down one of Nitrolado's frozen creations, you'll probably feel the need to visit a dentist. There's one just a few doors down—‚you can't miss the sign.
10212 Westminster Ave., Garden Grove, (714) 722-3731, instagram.com/nitrolado.