Luv-it Frozen Custard is tucked down a side street between the heart of the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown, just around the corner from Las Vegas Boulevard. It’s the city’s original custard stand (since 1973) and is still the local favorite. The menu includes a rotating line up of daily flavors, sundaes, and concretes (here called “heavy shakes”).
The most famous item is a Western Sundae. It’s a turtle-like creation that succeeds because the caramel sauce and hot fudge are both excellent and the pecans are salty enough to cut through the custard’s sweetness. Mostly, it works because the vanilla custard itself is silky and plain enough to balance the intense flavors of the syrups.
There are dozens of options for sundaes, concretes, and various sweet treats; but we like Luv-It’s silky custard best on its own. Chocolate and vanilla closely follow the typical restrained, refreshing flavor of standard soft-serve ice cream, but with the more luxurious texture of custard.
When peppermint is available, it can be refreshing in the heat, even if it is more starlight than fresh mint. Despite noticeable pieces of pie crust and cinnamon in apple pie-flavored custard, it doesn’t add up to much. A cherry yum-yum sundae, blanketed by crumbled Oreos and drizzled with cherry pie filling (from a can) is a wild time. It’s a flavor combination to remember, but do note that with custard this sweet, all those syrups and cookies can take a dish overboard pretty fast.
We like the heavy shakes — a custard lover’s benchmark for quality. Although not quite thick enough to be held upside down like a true concrete, the custard’s smooth texture is nicely exaggerated when it’s whipped up. Our rocky road mix-in offered lots of slivered almonds, and even if it did melt quickly (in 110 degree heat!), we continued to savor the integrity of its tasty chocolate custard base.
Happiness at Luv-it is assured just so long as you bring a robust sweet tooth. If you aren’t accustomed to sugar bombs, stick to plain custard. It’s some of the best in the West.