viva la vida

This stylish Southeast spot with cool murals and poppin’ colors everywhere opened a couple months ago and stands out for its super-non-gringo savory snack and dessert menu; there’s so many items I don’t recognize and would love to return to try. But for this first foray, we nab two paletas (popsicles), a chocolate-coated coconut and cucumber-chamoy. 

The first features a little coconut flake grit and proves an easy treat, while the second may challenge some palates with the sour chile condiment spiking the refreshing, clean cucumber flavor. The homemade ice creams delight us more, slightly more custard textured than hard-pack ice cream.

Viva La Vida

Ice cream is one of the highlights at Viva La Vida.

A bright yellow elote flavor captures sweet corn essence (minus the savory street treat’s cotija, crema and chile toppings) in a way that evokes Korean corn tea and candy corn, but in a good, non-cloying, non-waxy way. The Gansito (“little goose”) derives its name from the commercial strawberry jelly-filled snack cake, a Mexican version of a Twinkie, with a thin chocolate coating.

What impresses most is how the sponge cake hasn’t sogged during the churn, offering dry cake pockets plus the fruit and cacao flavor inside a vanilla base. We’re hooked.Viva Viva La Vida!