April 01 2011
"You may need a translator to fully appreciate Tara's unforgettable flavors, from Adzuki Black Sesame to Yerba Santa. This New Mexico transplant brought her eco-friendly business to Oakland in 2008 and, boy, are we glad to have her. Stepping into Tara's, you'll often find the owner behind the counter wearing a sunny smile and a bright bandanna to match. These ice creams sing with the essence of everything from Bay Laurel (a must-try!) to Pink Peppercorn. Don't be surprised to find yourself slack-jawed in front of the case, trying one spoonful after another. Even in the ice-cream-saturated market that is the East Bay, Tara's takes it to a whole new level. The flavors pack a punch, but the impact on the environment is minimal. Tara's uses compostable cups made from sugarcane, spoons made from potato starch, and all-recycled paper products. Handmade cones, including the don't-miss version with sesame seeds folded into the batter, also shine. Available flavors — all seasonal — are posted daily on Facebook, if you want to know what you'll find before stepping into this ice-cream wonderland. Not a bad idea, since you might need to consult a reference book to determine what your options really are."