Being goth isn’t all worshipping Satan and looking up how to get candle wax out of cat fur on Google. Even the terminally morbid enjoy a sweet treat now and again, and even the most dedicated child of darkness can’t survive on expired Halloween candy alone. Enter downtown L.A.’s Little Damage ice cream shop, whose dark gray Almond Charcoal soft serve and black charcoal-infused waffle cones have made the shop a social-media sensation.
According to Danielle Salmon of the restaurant review site Follow My Gut, the ice cream itself leads with sweet almond, with the “dark, deep” charcoal flavor serving to give the soft serve extra depth. Same for the cones, which taste like chocolate with an undertone of charcoal. The shop has colorful toppings such as rainbow sprinkles and fruity pebbles for your morose cone, if you’re feeling more pastel goth that day; it also has other, rotating flavors of soft serve like mango sticky rice, beet, and (of course) unicorn tears, if you’re some kind of normie prepster scum.
Of course, Little Damage didn’t invent soft serve in shades to match Steve Bannon’s soul. Black sesame, with its roasted, nutty taste, has been a popular ice cream flavor in Japan for years, and little charcoal-colored cones of the stuff are widely available at amusement parks and tourist attractions and such. (Squid ink soft serve is less common, but it’s out there, and it’s pitch black as well.) But while it’s readily available in Japanese supermarkets, enjoying black sesame ice cream abroad can be difficult if you’re not the do-it-yourself type. (I’ve tried.) So there is an opening in the American market. And besides, Little Damage’s Instagram game is on point, a quality that seems to be just as important for a successful restaurant as the actual food these days.