The Best Shave Ice in Southern California
Just got back from Tutu's in Simi Valley. Finding great shave ice in LA has been a mission of mine, even though I go to Hawaii once a year and eat my fill of great shave ice there. I have been to Shaka's in Alhambra and Teri Hawaii, among others. I have enjoyed the offerings from Sin Bala and Bin Bin Konjac.
Tutu's has been talked about on this board, but then you would expect the best shave ice to come from Gardena/Torrance or Monterey Park/Alhambra/San Gabriel. No the best SI is found in Simi Valley, just off the 118 near the Tapo Valley offramp. With a consistency more like a sherbet than a snow cone, the quality is superior to that found at Matsumoto's or Aoki's on the North Shore, and nearly equal to the likes of Waiola or Tropicana Freeze in Honolulu.
I ordered one with Dole whip on the bottom and flavored with POG (Passion Orange Guava) syrup. For those interested, they also have li hing powder. Along with the shave ice and the Dole whip, they have a terrific selection of Lapperts ice creams. My wife had the Kauai Pie.
If you've never had real Hawaiian shave ice, it's here at Tutu's. If you miss great shave ice from Hawaii, take a trip to Tutu's.
Warning. The original owner has sold the business and her last day is October 28. We really enjoyed talking with her (native of Aina Haina) I don't know what the quality will be like with the change of ownership, But I will be back.
4332 Cochran St.
Simi Valley, CA 93063
I am not going to be so presumptuous as to laud its quality or authenticity. And I also heard that they occasionally have trouble with the shaving machine going down. But Diddy Riese, in Westwood Village, home of the 3 for a buck big cookies and ice cream sandwich for a bit more, has been offering a simple shaved ice for $1.50. Vanilla ice cream, shaved ice, choose three syrups.
I've had Diddy Riese shave ice. As nosh suspected, it's not particularly high in quality or authenticity--more of a sno-cone than shave ice, and the flavors are kind of generically sweet. That said, it's still pretty good. :) I like it. But I like their cookies and icecream sandwiches much more so I never get the shave ice.
I found Matsumoto's a bit overrated in comparison with some of the places I found in Honolulu. Matsumoto's and Aoki's ice tends to be a bit crunchier, and I prefer the smoother texture. But Tutu's is very smooth in that regard. They have the full range of additions. I did not try the azuki beans this time, but I did have a Dole whip on the bottom. Great. Never had that with shave ice before.
My hope is that the new owner updholds the standards set by this place. I just wish they were closer to LA.