Los Angeles been going through a crazy summer heatwave, as usual. Here in the Valley, the weather is particularly uncomfortable. Even as I type, at almost 10 o’clock at night, the temperature outside is still in the mid-80s. To sum things up, Mother Nature can be a pain, but there are some tasty ways to get through this heat. Besides chains like Yogurtland and Menchie’s there are other fun places to get some cool snacks on hot days.
1. Get Shaved (9255 Reseda Blvd. Northridge, CA 91324 + two more locations)
Mm, Get Shaved has the best shaved ice that I have ever had. Before being introduced to this place, I thought all shaved ice were like those dinky tightly-packed snowballs that you bought from ice cream carts at the park — hard to get through without losing all its flavor. Nope. Get Shaved showed me that you can clear the bottom of your bowl with every bite being as palatable as before. They have some great flavors like blue bubblegum, mango, cotton candy, green apple, and guava, and flavors I have never heard of like lilikoi and li hing mui. I went today and got watermelon, peach, and blue raspberry with condensed milk and it was the perfect way to cool down. Plus, one of my friends from Hawaii approves, so you know that this is some more-than-decent stuff.
2. Scoops Westside (3400 Overland Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90034)
The original Scoops location (712 N Heliotrope Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90029) is near LACC, but when I was a student at UCLA, I would sometimes bring my friends to the Westside location when we wanted to try some interesting flavors of ice cream. The staple flavor is Brown Brown Bread, but they rotate all the other ones each day and come up with tastes you would never think could be so good. I’ve had butterscotch white chip, raspberry tiramisu, and spice kabocha among many others, but they have also had salty caramel, maple oreo, pistachio lemon, and banana brownies. You can take a sample of each and with a small order, you get two scoops of ice cream! Each time I go, I try to mix it up a bit, but it’s not hard because of how much variety there is. What is hard is trying to decide on what to ultimately choose.
3. Blockheads Shavery (11311 Mississippi Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90025)
I’ve only visited this place recently, though it has been popular with many of my friends at UCLA. According to Blockheads, they mix shaved ice and ice cream to make what they call “snow cream”. I had the green tea flavor with mango and chocolate chips as toppings because I panicked at the register, but the combination of green tea snow cream and chocolate chips went much better than I anticipated. There are other flavors of snow cream including original, strawberry, and black sesame, as well as a cantaloupe flavor that I wanted to try though they were out of stock when I was there. I hope they have it again in the future!
4. Miss Coffee (300 S Hobart Blvd. Ste 101. Los Angeles, CA 90020)
Like Blockheads, I’ve only been to this place once and was introduced to this cafe in Koreatown by one of my friends. Besides coffee and tea, you can order shaved ice that comes in a huge measuring cup topped with fruits and mochi. So much for two people to eat, but if you have a group, then it should be fine. The atmosphere is pretty trendy and it seems like a good place to study and take a break from the world.
5. Frozen Crush
Unfortunately, Frozen Crush does not have a set location in the Valley anymore, but its caret does make rounds at various events, with a schedule posted on their website each week. Frozen Crush has great Italian ice that go from traditional fruity flavors like strawberry and banana to more peculiar options such as horchata, peanut butter cup, and root beer. It’s much smoother than shaved ice, but I’m not exactly sure how to adequately explain Italian ice without telling you to just go out and try some for yourself.
Of course, there are many more locations that you can visit in Los Angeles to get your fix on cool treats such as Saffron & Rose Ice Cream and 21 Choices. What other places would you recommend?