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Sharing the Flavors of the Universe

Even as a kid growing up in Iran, Mashti Sirvani had a deep affection for ice cream. Coming from a family of restaurateurs, Mashti began making ice cream and sour cherry sharbat – a form of sorbet – at an early age, in his uncle’s ice cream store.

After immigrating to the U.S. during the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Mashti worked as a chef in one of Los Angeles’ first Persian restaurants. But he was still hopelessly fascinated by the magic of ice cream and decided to make that wonderful treat the focus of his career. In his words, “I wanted to be in the happiness business.”

With only a few dollars to his name, Mashti bought an existing ice cream shop called Mugsy Malone’s. In an effort to save money on the large store sign, he merely changed “Mugsy” to “Mashti”…and L.A.’s most famous ice cream shop was born!

At first, local residents were skeptical of ice cream with rice noodles and various Persian spices. But it wasn’t long before his artful creations, with their luscious, exotic allure, began wooing customers to the shop in droves. Now, almost 40 years later, Mashti and younger brother Matt are busier than ever, running the shop with the funny name and the wildly delicious concoctions of icy delights.

Coincidentally, the first person to vend ice cream in Iran was named Akbar Mashti and, in the 1920s, he served locals his bastani sonnati, an ice cream consisting of milk, eggs, sugar, rose water, vanilla, saffron, and pistachios. Today, Mashti Shirvani follows that same centuries-old tradition, with many imaginative new twists that are uniquely his own. So, go ahead…sample one of Mashti Malone’s delectable ice cream innovations, and enjoy a dessert experience unlike any other.

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