Freebie Alert: Rita's Ice Noho; The One Up Opens

Rita’s Ice in North Hollywood (4821 Lankershim Blvd.) is having their grand opening this Friday, October 3, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. They will celebrate by giving away free Italian ice all day. Plus, the first 50 people in line will receive free ice for an entire year. To qualify, they request guests donate a tube of toothpaste for L.A. Family Housing. Rita’s […]

Rita’s Ice in North Hollywood (4821 Lankershim Blvd.) is having their grand opening this Friday, October 3, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. They will celebrate by giving away free Italian ice all day. Plus, the first 50 people in line will receive free ice for an entire year. To qualify, they request guests donate a tube of toothpaste for L.A. Family Housing.

Rita’s is a 30-year-old company based on the East Coast; it is now franchising throughout the nation. The icy treat first hit the 818 in Tarzana in August, followed by Noho. Ice flavors change daily and are made from fresh fruit—rather than with sno-cone-type syrups—and used within 36 hours. What makes it extra special is the frozen custard, which is similar to soft-serve ice cream except creamier and thicker. There’s a daily sugar-free flavor as well.

The menu offers various ways to enjoy the ice: straight up ice, gelati (ice layered with custard), misto (custard and ice mix), cream ice, blendini (ice, custard and mix-ins) and custard alone. Personally, I like the gelati because if you mix it up yourself, it turns into a misto! If ice isn't your thing, sundaes and shakes are also offered.

BLAST FROM THE PAST

The One Upbilled as an “Arcade Gastrolounge,” opened this past Friday in Sherman Oaks, replacing the former Mr. Cecil's. A combo restaurant, lounge and arcade, The One Up features a small plates menu of traditional American recipes twisted with some kitsch dishes, such as Cap’n Crunch fried chicken wings ($10), chocolate croissant bread ($9, in a giant bowl) and deconstructed 7-Up Twinkies ($8). Along with food and drinks (including a 30-foot bar serving craft cocktails, draft and bottled beer, and wine), there are 15 arcades with over 400 free games from Pac-Man to Donkey Kong to Street Fighter. Co-owners Murphy Michaels and Ken Bretschneider both have extensive backgrounds in video game development. Note: Weekend brunch and daily lunch welcomes all ages, but happy hour and evenings are restricted to 21+. 

The One Up, 13625 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks.

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