Judging by the long line and then the smiling faces of first tasters at N'iceCream, who enjoyed a free scoop when the new shop opened at the OC Mart Mix on March 23, this Venice-born ice creamery will make Costa Mesa even sweeter.

By way of Denmark, co-founders Laura Nielsen and Christian Toxboe set up their first organic gelato and sorbet store in Venice four years ago, and now boast three more Los Angeles-area locations.

They pride themselves on making small batches of gelato and sorbet daily (nothing is ever more than 12 hours old). They also use organic milk from Rockview Farms and less sugar than most ice cream shops; their sorbets are made with fresh, locally grown fruits as much as possible. The outcome is light, clean and addictive.

There's no guessing which flavors you'll be choosing from on any given day. N'iceCream even posts the time flavors were made on its website and fans flock to the locations serving their favorite flavor.

Go for salted caramel, if it's in. It's our favorite and hands down a fan favorite across the board.

Other delicious flavors to choose from include tangy lemon sorbet, coffee caramel, pistachio, chocolate hazelnut, vanilla bean and straciatella. You can also receive email alerts for when your favorite flavor is ready at any N'iceCream location; it's simple — just click on a flavor.

N'iceCream is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The OC Mart Mix is at 3313 Hyland Ave.


Ballet fundraiser this weekend

Spend Saturday evening with the Maple Youth Ballet at its annual spring fundraiser, which will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. at Black, Starr & Frost Jewelers in Newport Beach.

"Diamonds and Dance" will feature fashions from Royal Underground, a line created by Kelly Gray, the former chief executive of St. John Knits, and Nikki Sixx of Motley Crew, and Suzan Paek's new Jessica Grant handbags. Enjoy delicious appetizers, beverages and wine, and a special appearance by Maple Youth Ballet dancers.

Incredible raffle giveaways will include a first-class experience to San Francisco to see "Don Quixote," dinner and tickets to "Pilobolus: Mixed Rep" performances at the Irvine Barclay Theatre in May, and premium tickets to a Lakers game and dinner at Staples Center's Lexus Club.

Black Starr & Frost will donate 10% off all purchases at the event to the Maple Youth Ballet. Each guest will receive a swag gift bag valued at more than $100, including women's perfume or men's cologne by Black Starr & Frost Jewelers and a ticket to see Maple Youth Ballet's "Coppelia" at the Irvine Barclay Theatre on April 14 and 15.

The Maple Conservatory in Irvine is a nationally recognized classical ballet studio that trains children of all ages. Many students go on to dance in major companies around the world.

All proceeds from "Diamonds and Dance" will go to the Maple Youth Ballet, Maple Conservatory's nonprofit arm, which funds the three pre-professional-level performances that the studio puts on each year, as well as to student scholarships.

Tickets cost $75 per person, or $125 per couple. For more information and to purchase tickets, call the Maple Youth Ballet at (949) 660-9930 ext. 24, or visit http://www.mapleconservatory.com.

Black, Starr & Frost Jewelers is at 341 Bayside Drive.


Indulge in some urban decadence

When it comes to beauty with an edge, Orange County-based Urban Decay owns the market.