The "it" dish decnostructed.
"I've been an interior architect as well as a cook. A few years ago, while I was unemployed as a designer, I traveled to Japan. The beauty of the pastries resonated with me. There was a structure—a foundation, textures, flavors, colors. It was like architecture, except that you got to eat it.
"One day, when I got back from Japan, I went to Churros Calientes in West L.A., and I got a churro. I kept thinking, God, this would be great with ice cream. How would I do that? After a couple of test runs—with different churro and other dough recipes—I put it together with two of the ice creams I was working on, and I realized how amazing it was. It took me seven or eight tries to get the one I liked. It's got to be viscous enough to pipe and light enough when fried to eat.
"My churro is different from a regular churro, which is a cylinder. This is more like two flattened doughnuts. I tried cutting one of my churros in half like a bagel when I was testing this stuff out, but for the best ratio of crispness to soft dough, you need two churro disks. I fry the churros to order. We let them cool a little before serving so that we don't have a hot mess on our hands.
"I make all my ice cream from scratch, and I try to make it with a dense consistency, with more fat, so that it has a slower melting time. I'm influenced by Spanish and Mexican flavors, so the staples are Spanish Latte [above, top], Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate [middle], and Horchata, which I make with my own rice-and-almond milk. My early-summer flavor was Orange Creamsicle [bottom], and I do a vanilla, because there needs to be vanilla.
"The size was tricky. They're two and a half inches in diameter. Some people at the pop-ups where I sell these complain it's too small for $4—and some people get hostile because they waited in line for an hour and we sold out—but I think it's the right amount of ice cream and churro before you start feeling like a heifer."
—As told to David Tamarkin To find out where you can get your hands on these, follow @ChurroBoroughLA.
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