When a person recalls the good old days, he’s really thinking about his bad, young days

Emory School

I was a horrible kid growing up. As the oldest child, I remember getting into a load of trouble by either cutting my hair, getting reprimanded for talking too much in class and one day instead of going straight to the babysitter’s house right after summer school, headed across the street for 15 cent ice cream at Thrifty’s. My parents were livid. My youngest brother had passed away earlier that year and put the kabosh on any adventurous spirit I had left in me.

Looking back at it, the best ice cream wasn’t at Thrifty’s. It was at Oasis Ice Cream Parlor which was housed in the same shopping center.

Oasis Ice Cream Parlor

Not much has changed in the shopping center. Thrifty’s is now gone replaced by Rite-Aid, and the Safeway is now an Albertson’s. But 30 years later the ice cream at Oasis is still homemade and the flavors are still delicious and unique. Corn and rice ice cream? Sure, I’ll try it.

Ice cream

For people looking for something fancy, this is not the place. Ice cream is served in plain white styrofoam cups. Instead you get luscious ice cream at reasonable prices. On any given weekend, the place has a constant stream of business which is always a good thing for any small, family-owned shop.

A single scoop of ice cream is $1.35 up to $4.00 for four scoops. Did I say it was homemade? Other unique ice cream flavors are trail mix, walnut, and cucumber with chile. But the standouts are the paletas, the Spanish version of popcicles.

Peanut butter cream bar

Oasis’ paletas are priced according to whether they are cream ($1.65) or  fruit paletas ($1.55) and individually wrapped in a small plastic bag. Cream flavors include chocolate chip, rice, strawberry — reflecting a lot of the same flavors as their homemade ice cream. The natural bars are more unique: guava, tamarindo and cantaloupe. Everything is made “Michoacan-style” meaning that all the ingredients are fresh. So strawberry ice cream comes from actual strawberry fruit and no fake fruit flavoring.

An added benefit? These bars are dense. While other bar tend to have a lot of air mixed into them, these last a long time. Popsicle biters like me have nothing to worry about because these paletas survive past five bites.

South Bay Drive-in

Making the trip to Oasis is a bit of a trek — approximately 20 miles from downtown San Diego. But if you take in a movie afterwards at one of the county’s drive-in movie theaters, the trip can be well worth it. I hear that drive-in movie theaters are the next big thing…

Oasis Ice Cream Parlor
1832 Coronado Avenue
Imperial Beach, CA 92154

14 thoughts on “When a person recalls the good old days, he’s really thinking about his bad, young days

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  1. hi darlene -hey, i know exactly where oasis is! i remember when albertsons was still safeway too! i also remember thrifty’s. It was .25 cents for 3 scoops back in the day! i liked the one with the malt ball crunch (forgot the name of that flavor but it was my fave).

    that place is right next to st. charles church where my husband and his family went to church…that’s the church where we got married too.

    great post on oasis and what they offer. i remember reading rave reviews of this place somewhere and even though we go to st. charles every sunday, never thought of going to oasis for some dessert! now we’re definitely going to go! their prices are really cheap too!

    the southbay drive in is one of the last few remaining drive in movies in san diego. on sundays it’s a swap meet. i remember my husband and i went to our first (and last) drive in movie experience at southbay – this tells you how long ago it was, “Wayne’s World 2” (circa 1993). we ended up leaving and got our money back because we couldn’t get good reception on our radio.

    1. That’s hilarious! It’s in my old ‘hood too. Have you ever heard the rumor that Matthew Modine’s parents used to run the drive-in back in the early 80s?? That was when he was still going to Mar Vista High School but I don’t believe he graduated from there but another school instead.

      I saw Top Secret at the drive-in with my cousins way back when. I’m tempted to see a movie there again for old times sake.

      Hope you enjoy have a chance to get some ice cream!

  2. hi darlene – actually matthew modine did graduate from Mar Vista High. not sure if his parents owned the drive in though. his mother recently passed away a few years ago. i remember seeing the obit in the sd u-t and he was listed as a survivor. matthew modine is also in the sweetwater alumni hall of fame. i think they did away with the program, but he’s in it.

    pause…(checks the internet): okay, here’s the link:


    looks like he’s a ’77 grad. he’s 10 years older than me.

    for fun, i looked up wikipedia’s entry on matthew modine and it mentioned that his parents used to manage drive in theaters. so maybe it’s possible it was that one, but who knows how accurate wikipedia really is, right?

    ha ha – I LOVE TOP SECRET! one of the best movies EVER!!!! the fireplace! peter cushing’s eye! Val Kilmer when he was still young and hot!

    my old hood is down near DEL SOL! Orale! Your school was our school’s rival!

    I think we’re going to try Oasis this weekend after church. : ) If I do, of course, I’ll blog it!

  3. Imperial Beach – the home of Matthew Modine and paletas! Maybe he should make a visit back to his old stomping grounds and promote Oasis.

  4. Go to the drive-in! So much fun and so cheap! We go to one of the few remaining from time to time. $7 per person for a double feature? Not bad, especially if you’re seeing something like “The Other Guys,” where state-of-the-art theater technology doesn’t matter.

    1. I just read a review of this particular drive-in that the speakers aren’t very clear. I wonder if they’ve upgraded recently. Would be a shame if you can’t hear anything.

  5. Great memories thanks for sharing. One correction: the supermarket in the plaza was originally an Alpha-Beta, before becoming Lucky’s, before transforming to its now current identity of Albertsons.

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