Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Apr 8, 2009 05:25 PM

taiwanese shaved ice (w/ black jelly, taro balls, etc)

since i went back last, i've been trying to find a place around LA/OC that has shaved ice with all the trimmings :(

the closest I've found is little bean in rowland heights, but I don't think their taro balls and sweet potato balls are very good.. too soft...

i'd prefer to find something in OC, but haven't found anything suitable yet... don't like the fruity styles they have at macchiato and milk & honey

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hsin Hsin Shau May Deli at Culver and Walnut? I know most of the Shau May type restaurants have it.

    I like the one at Shau May (Kang Kang) on Garfield and Garvey in Monterey Park but that's not in OC :)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      thanks! I'll check it out on my lunch break tomorrow...

      1. re: ilovetoeat0234

        went there over the weekend... wasn't impressed :(

        I could have had the same results buying canned red bean and other toppings at ranch 99 :(

    2. The ingredient I REALLY want to find is the yellow stuff. You know, it's soft, somewhat starchy, and yet has that nice Q-ness. I don't even know what the name of it is in Chinese, I just always pointed to it in the display.

      I haven't actually gone out of my way to look for Taiwanese shaved ice here in LA, but are there places with all the stuff laid out like in Taiwan? Or is it just order off a menu? Might be a problem because I don't know the names of a lot of the stuff.

      7 Replies
      1. re: huaqiao

        SinBaLa, Shau Mei (any one of the iterations), and QQ will have a buffet like layout for the shaved ice toppings.

        Those yellow stuff you refer to are tapioca balls (in yellow color)

        1. re: ipsedixit

          What she said. The one at "Kentucky Fried Shau Mei" (so called because there's an old bucket sign on top of the building) on Garfield and Garvey has a pretty extensive buffet of various Q-like things. You pick either 3 ingredients or 4, point-and-shoot works just fine since nobody actually knows the name of anything anyway, and then you say whether you want (condensed) milk or not.

          The yellow Q-texture thing is just coloured agar-agar gel. I know it as 琼脂 (qiong2 zhi1). It has very little taste -- as you said they are just there for texture, like so many things in Chinese cuisine.

        2. re: huaqiao

          Do you mean the squares? I thought they were 'bu ding' (pudding). I started a baobing glossary last summer, will have to dig it up....

          1. re: pepper_mil

            The stuff I'm thinking of isn't pudding. It has the texture of somewhere between soft mochi and rubber, if that helps. :P And it's in rough chunks, so not tapioca balls, either.

            OK, I found a pic. It's the yellow thing here:

            And here as well:

            None of these gelatinous things actually have any real taste. I just like the texture.

            Thanks for the suggestions of places with buffet like layouts. I'll definitely have to check them out.

              1. re: ilovetoeat0234

                No, aiyu is not as translucent and doesn't really have much Q. :)

              2. re: huaqiao

                That yellow stuff is called 粉粿 (fen3 guo3) . Yum!! I haven'te seen anything like that here in LA. If anyone finds them, please do share.

                My favorite place for shave ice is Old Country Cafe (corner of Valley and Garfield). I think the texture of the ice is the most authentic, but selection of toppings are limited and you order from the menu not buffet style.

                My favorite taro balls are from BinBin Konjac. They taste as good as the ones in Taiwan.

            1. re: mstinawu

              Yeah, but I could definitely live without the traffic ...

            2. Hm, this begs an interesting question... what's the best Taiwan shaved ice within central LA? (Think Farmers Market area). Are we looking at Koreatown or Sawtelle?

              P.S. Not looking for Korean shaved ice... had some at Ice Kiss and was horribly disappointed.... chemical flavored syrups, chemical tasting fruity pebbles on top, and it cost about $12 or some insanely outrageous price.

              Mr Taster

              10 Replies
              1. re: Mr Taster

                Or rather, is there anything Taiwanese in central to west LA? Ipsedixit did find the popcorn chicken at Lollicup in Chinatown but is there anything more? Do any of the westside boba places also offer shaved ice? I haven't seen any, but I wasn't looking for it either.

                1. re: Chandavkl

                  Volcano Tea offers it but it's just shaved ice plus milk plus the sort of thing you can get in the bottom of your tea anyway -- large boba, small boba, coconut Q, grass jelly, mango pudding, etc.

                  1. re: Chandavkl

                    Trying not to go as far as Chinatown or as far west as Sawtelle. I thought perhaps there might be some little surprise nugget in Culver City or West Hollywood (or somewhere else) that I might have missed.

                    And of course, it would have to be delicious... if not, I'd rather go to Kentucky Fried SM.

                    Mr Taster

                    1. re: Mr Taster

                      Unfortunately, as I'm sure you've figured out, either there are no Taiwanese in Central LA, or they're all too busy exploring other cuisines to eat what they can make at home... :(

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        Hey, Mrs Taster is a Taiwanese living in Central LA :)

                        (That's why I'm asking...)

                        Granted it's nearly the westside, but with all the Taiwanese students at UCLA, you'd think there'd be some shaved ice to be had there....

                        Mr Taster

                        1. re: Mr Taster

                          Yeah, but that's what we thought about Taiwanese food, too, and there isn't any of that.

                          1. re: Chandavkl

                            Wuzzat? That's what who thought about Taiwanese food and there isn't any of what?

                            Mr Taster

                            1. re: Mr Taster

                              Was referring to the previous thread about the closing of Munch on Sawtelle, which had packaged Taiwanese meals, and the fact that there was no Taiwanese food near UCLA or USC despite the Taiwanese student population of both, while you can get Taiwanese food adjacent to UC Riverside.

                              1. re: Chandavkl

                                I'm not so sure the Taiwanese student population at UCLA or USC is all that high, esp. in comparison to places like UCR, Cal State LA, and in particular UC Irvine.

                                1. re: Chandavkl

                                  Where is the Taiwanese place near UC Riverside?

                                  I'm planning to be in the area this weekend and would like to check it out.

                  2. I'm not sure if this is a new thing, but there's something called shaved snow at a place called Class 302 in Rowland Heights. Apparently it's icy milk that literally looks like fine layers of phyllo and doesn't melt as fast. Last time I went, they ran out. Heard they serve something like this at Balcony Grill in the the Diamond Jamboree Plaza in Irvine.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: groover808

                      Oh no! Don't tell people about my secret shaved ice place! Now it's gonna be even more packed! Damn you, Chowhound!

                      1. re: J.L.

                        It's so packed I'm teased by all the pictures and haven't had it yet. It must be delicious, right?

                        1. re: groover808

                          Oh no, no.... it's just awful... everyone should just avoid that place...

                          1. re: J.L.

                            Sorry J.L., I just have to post this amazing pic to let everyone know that this shaved snow is nothing like shaved ice. Anyone seen it anywhere else?


                            1. re: groover808

                              I always wondered how long it would take for snow ice to get popular here. There are a couple of very well known shops that have been selling it in the middle of Taipei's Shilin Night Market for many many years. I also encountered a place selling it in Tokyo's Akihabara of all places.

                              The texture is very smooth and silky, but it doesn't have an emphasis on toppings like other Taiwanese shaved ice.

                              I'm glad to see it finally making the jump across the Pacific. :)