Summertime cold treats to beat the heat

We’re finally seeing a break in the heat wave in Los Angeles. Woohoo! One reason why L.A.’s a good place to be when it’s hot are the cold treats. Here are a few of my favorite cold desserts that helped me stay cool this summer.

Milk
7290 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

First up, Milk. Located on the corner of Beverly and Poinsettia, this corner shop often has a line of people going out the front door. Who would blame them when you see the array of frozen treats in their fridge waiting for you.

One of their popular ice cream desserts is the bright green Grasshopper. It’s mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwiched between two pistachio macaroon cookies and dipped in chocolate.  How’s your sweet doing now?

However, on my recent visit, I opted to get ice cream. You see, I have a weakness for blueberry pie and cobbler and when I saw they had an ice cream this particular day with blueberry cobbler ice cream, I had to get it.


The ice cream was creamy and the bits of the cobbler crust added good texture. The best part was the abundance of blueberries swimming in the rich cream. When I’ve had blueberry ice cream before, there are usually few pieces of blueberry that look like raisins or the cream itself is infused with blueberry but there aren’t actually berries I can sink my teeth into. Well done, Milk!

Pazzo Gelato
3827 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Another frozen dessert I love is gelato! My friends and I often stop by Pazzo Gelato in Silverlake. They use local ingredients and also offer vegan flavors. On the weekends and on hot summer days, it’s not surprise they have lines that go out the door — but the lines usually go pretty fast.

My favorite flavor is blood orange sorbet. I love it because you can actually taste the blood orange – it’s not hidden by extra sugary sweetness or icy texture. Their sorbet is flavorful and easily scoops onto the gelato spoons and melts away on your tongue with a tangy aftertaste. When I was there last, I didn’t see the blood orange sorbet and I didn’t know what to order. I stood there… confused and lost. The guy behind the counter said I looked like I was looking for something and told him I usually get the blood orange sorbet. He said he had some in the back and brought it out. That’s service!

Half and Half Teahouse
141 N Atlantic Blvd, Ste 112
Monterey Park, CA 91754

For real Chinese food in Los Angeles, you head east to San Gabriel Valley. The suburbs in SGV are known for quality savory eats but also dessert. This summer, my friend introduced me to a boba drink with a twist. Boba milk tea, also known as pearl tea or tapioca milk tea, is a popular drink in the summer. But at Half and Half, they’ve stepped it up a notch and have made the beverage into a dessert meal.

I ordered the iced milk drink with chocolate, pudding, and honey boba. It was intense sweetness. First off, the cup is larger than your regular boba drink. And when you’re slurping the drink and tapioca balls, you’ll also get chunks of rich pudding. If you look closely to the picture, you’ll see yellow chunks – that’s the pudding.

I thought my tastebuds would be confused by all the rich sweet flavors but it actually worked out. The chewy honey tapioca balls balanced the rich pudding that balanced the  heavy chocolate. Don’t get me wrong, if you don’t like sweet rich beverages, this may not be for you – but if you want to indulge or have a sweet tooth, you must order one of these. This is something I wouldn’t order everyday but it’s definitely something I would have again on a hot day… or just for dessert.

If you have a favorite summer treat you’ve had this summer, please share your tip! In L.A., summer doesn’t truly end until October so I’ll definitely need to try other cool eats!

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Patbingsu: the other shave ice

In my previous post, I craved shave ice – the Hawaiian type. But last week I had the South Korean shave ice known as patbingsu. What makes the Korean version different is that the ice isn’t as fine and it’s more like a meal. Take a look at the “Monster” that we got at Ice Kiss.

Patbungsu is all about layers. On the bottom you typically have red bean, fruit salad, and ice cream. Then you get the layer of shave ice and some fresh cut fruit like bananas and strawberries (like you see above), more ice cream on top of that, whip cream, and some chocolate sauce. It’s also common to have some bites of mochi and condensed milk on it. For our dish, we also added a dusting of taro powder. This is definitely a dessert to be shared with many friends.

Here’s a close-up photo of the dish just in case you really want to drool over your computer on this hot summer day…

Special note: When I was in Korea, I had a craving for this (even though it was at the tail end of winter) and I couldn’t find it anywhere. Apparently, it’s served in the summers over there. Thank goodness I live in the paradise called Los Angeles which has it year-round.