Saffron Spot

Saffron Spot — ever had an Indian float, with pistachio ice cream over sweet noodles?

By Matthew Kang

The small parlor, in the heart of Artesia’s Little India, packs a visual wallop, with more colors than a box of Crayolas. But that’s nothing compared to the bright tastes of a few dozen creamy confections from owner Smita Vasant, who turns exotic flavors like saffron, rose, and pistachio into Indian versions of ice cream, blends them into shakes, or creates whimsical faloodas—India’s take on the classic ice cream float. Small Indian bites of samosas are the perfect side dish, and sometimes so spicy you’ll need that ice cream—fast.

Try lychee, kulfi kreme, (a mixture of pistachios, vanilla, and rose), mango in a cone or piled onto a bed of sweet noodles as a falooda, topped with a coat of pearlescent basil seeds so that each bite is a combination of creamy and slightly crunchy. For something savory, grab a toasty vada pao, a deep-fried potato ball made with spicy green chili that nearly sears your palate. Served with a garlic chutney, it comes squished between two buns.

the crowd

Students from the area and young folks hang here—a modern version of the 1950’s malt shop with an Indian twist.

hours

Tue–Thu 11 AM–9 PM; Fri–Sun 11 AM–10 PM
Closed Mondays

price range

$2.95 (one scoop of ice cream) to $4.99 (falooda
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