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The all encompassing Taiwanese Shaved Ice thread

Yes, I've used the search function and I know it's been mentioned several places and had it's own thread, but information is so widely scattered about TSI, that I thought I'd start this one.

I had one for the first time this past week and I am a fan.

A few questions based on comments scattered through various threads...

This 50 topping Shaved Ice - does this exist or is it urban legend? ;-)

Does anyplace have a toppings bar?...or are all just pick 3 or 4 toppings off menu?

Who offers the most for the money - largest serving and most toppings option for the price? (Shau May?)

Does any place offer distinct toppings, or is it pretty much the same everywhere?

Any answers and suggestions would be appreciated.

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  1. You alreayd know about Shau May at Kang Kang on Valley, it sounds. That's the only place I've seen with what I'd consider to be a really proper TSI bar but I haven't combed the SGV for other spots either.

    1. Shau May and Kang Kang have the best toppings bars. Krua Thai in NoHo has some. And several places in K-town make bingsu which is functionally the same as TSI.

      Also don't miss the mixed fruit shaved ice at Phoenix Food Boutique, which is a preset list of ingredients but is astoundingly good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        Oy gevalt and a BIG bu hau chi to the Korean shaved ice recommendation, DU

        (Ice Kiss, I'm looking at you in particular...)

        Vastly smaller portions, chemically flavored day glo syrups, and fruity pebble toppings (as if the syrups didn't provide enough artificial flavoring)... all for just the low, low price of 2x to 3x what you would pay for Taiwanese shaved ice.

        Mr Taster

      2. SHAU MEI (at Kang Kang, and its other iterations) is sort of the equivalent of the McDonald's of Taiwanese Shaved Ice - ubiquitious, good but not great, and hits the spot after a combo rice plate of 3 items.

        CLASS 302 if you prefer your shaved ice in "snow" form. Awesome stuff. Sort of like ordering a burger made with Kobe beef or sirloin. Not for everyone, but if haute-beef is your thing for burgers, then this place hits the proverbial "spot"

        PA PA WALK is good for a large fixin (and I mean "large") of mango shaved ice; go only if you (1) like mangoes (2) enjoy really sweet desserts and (3) your group includes you and about 100 of your closest friends. Mango shaved ice is huge, sweet, and pretty darn good (you can cut the sweetness a little bit if you ask them to go easy on the condensed milk)

        LITTLE BEAN is good for shaved ice if you like homemade, hand crafted (and some of the best boba pearls) as part of your shaved ice tapestry. Otherwise, the shaved ice is just pedestrian. Bonus points for having multiple Chinese chess boards to pass the time while you ponder why you just spent nearly $4 on frozen water and sugar ... Coke's got nothing on Taiwanese entrepeneurs!

        SIN BA LA is the place I go for shaved ice only when I also have the hankering for some housemade Taiwanese sausages to take back home; otherwise there's nothing drawing me to this place just for the ice.

        BANANA CAFE is a good option if you want to make a bad, rip-off version of SoCal "Hawaiian Shave Ice" because they'll add ice cream to your shaved ice, to which you can add red beans (as a sub for azuki beans) and then cue the Don Ho and you can almost pretend to hear the waves crashing in the background.

        APO APO is like the "high class" version of shaved ice; sort of like the Martha Stewart of shaved ice; the housemade grass jelly and imported (from Taiwan, where else?) soy pudding highlight the menu options, but the real treat here is is the caramel shaved ice which reminds me of sucking on frozen Sugar Daddy pops as a little tike.

        28 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          It's Class 305, not 302. I'm just being nitpicky. :D

          1. re: J.L.

            Gracias. Thanks for having my back ... :-)

            1. re: J.L.

              It's Class 302, not 305. Not to be nitpicky but unless I'm reading this wrong...

              http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/5idAYg...

              1. re: odub

                I stand corrected: It's indeed 三年二班 (Class 302).

                All this time I was calling it 三年五班 (Class 305)! I guess too many hours on the 405 has made me cuckoo!

              2. re: ipsedixit

                ipsedixit

                Do you have address for any of the above please?

                Thanks

                1. re: SeaCook

                  Insert [name] and [san gabriel, ca] or [rowland heights, ca] into the link below:

                  http://lmgtfy.com/

                  Normally, I'd be happy to get you the addresses, but it's Friday and the livin is l-a-z-y.

                  :-)

                  1. re: SeaCook

                    Most of those listed, except for Shau Mei, are in Rowland Heighs so it's kind of a trek unless you already live out there.

                    1. re: odub

                      Not really.

                      There is a SinBaLa in Arcadia, as well as Rowland Heights.

                      Pa Pa Walk is in San Gabriel (the city, not the Valley)

                      And Shau Mei is just about every freakin' where ...

                      1. re: odub

                        I live in La Habra Heights and from Sept 3 to Oct 30 I will have to detour through Rowland Heights on Colima Rd. due to road construction on Hacienda. So it won't be out of the way for me.

                        1. re: SeaCook

                          See my reply on your other thread, SeaCook...

                    2. re: ipsedixit

                      Are both Apo Apo locations (Rowland Heights and Walnet) good for shave ice?

                      1. re: Peripatetic

                        Only been to the one in Rowland Heights ...

                      2. re: ipsedixit

                        Class 302"s shaved snow is heavenly! Any shaved snow closer to the SGV?

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          I am on a hunt now for shaved ice... the only little bean i see is in artesia. Is that the one? If not, where is the one you are referring to? Thanks ipse.

                          1. re: Mr Taster

                            Mr Taster,

                            The Little Bean I refer to is the one in Rowland Heights. Enjoy and let me know what you think.

                            (By the way, I honestly know of no Little Bean in artesia ...)

                            Little Bean
                            18415 East Colima Rd
                            Rowland Heights
                            (626) 965-1616

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Pa Pa Walk offers "snow" as well. It's extra vs. regular shave ice, but very good.

                              I actually prefer Old Country Cafe to Shau May. Slighty fewer toppings to choose from (no lemon jelly, mixed bean for two), but Old Country has a machine that shaves a slab of ice instead of simply crushing ice cubes - which makes for a big difference in the texture. I've had nice smooth ones at Shau May, but also some that were rather crunchy, chunky - almost snow cone-ish.

                              And thanks ipsedixit for the tip on Pa Pa Walk's mango. A "small" is very large, the large is well beyond that.

                              1. re: JThur01

                                Old Country (only for Alhambra, can't remember the type of shaved ice machine at the Temple City branch) shaves a block of ice from a Taiwanese/Japanese? ice shaving machine that does not take cubes. It makes all the difference in the world. Very OG, still my fave.

                                It amazes me we're still bumping a shaved ice thread in Feb. Go LA!

                                1. re: TonyC

                                  My first trip to Class 302 for their shaved snow was when it was 42 degrees outside (frozen wasteland, in L.A. terms). Shaved snow is good in any weather.

                                  1. re: TonyC

                                    Tony, I was at the Alhambra location this past Saturday and got seated near the ice machine - so I checked, it's a Swan. I concur, it makes a huge difference.

                                    Hey, any time is the right time for shaved ice. I've actually been making my own with a little handcrank job picked up at Hawaii Supermarket. It uses a frozen disk. I didn't want one that uses ice cubes. I'm thinking of trying to get Taiwanese shaved ice going out here in the desert.

                                  2. re: JThur01

                                    Part of me thinks that the "large" mango snow at Pa Pa Walk is more suited for an episode of Man v. Food ...

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      As I consider myself the single greatest threat to the survivial of mango fruits on this planet (I can put 'em away!), I must say that the mango snow at Pa Pa Walk is just so satisfying...

                                      That, and the custom order mango cake at Diamond bakery, really float my boat.

                                      1. re: J.L.

                                        Have you tried the mango cake at Olympic Bakery in Temple City? Best in all of SGV ...

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          I actually buy my ham&egg sandwiches from them, and have often seen customers pick up mango cakes there. Good to know they make a killer mango cake - I'm running low on those sandwiches anyways. Thanks!

                                  3. re: ipsedixit

                                    The Artesia Little Bean closed down a year or two ago. It's now called Happy Nest.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      Ah yes, you were right ipse... the boba at little bean was so tender and soft, with just the right amount of chew and no gumminess at all. Really nice. Although I wish that I had realized that Apo Apo was right next door.... I think we would have gone there. Ah well, next time! (I take it the "brown sugar" shaved ice is the one you're referring to as the frozen sugar daddy?)

                                      Mr Taster

                                2. Thanks to all who replied...

                                  I did a bit of exploring myself in the SGV and have a couple of questions...

                                  Ay Chung has a Myotonin Shaved Ice...what is that? Any other unusual toppings?

                                  Fen Yuan at Old Country Cafe - are these small rice dumplings?

                                  Has anyone had shaved ice at QQ Kitchen or Won Won Kitchen in Temple City?

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: JThur01

                                    Fen Yuan at Old Country is equivalent to Boba.

                                    1. re: fdb

                                      A belated thanks fdb.

                                      To correct myself, Ay Chung has Myotonin Milk shaved ice. Am I right in guessing it's sort of a "protein shake" version of shaved ice?

                                      1. re: JThur01

                                        You're welcome. I grew up loving shaved ice in Taiwan and now my kids are loving it, too. I am not sure what Myotonin Milk is. What does it look like or taste like?

                                        1. re: JThur01

                                          Re: Myotonin Milk

                                          It's basically milk with added myotonin powder (the powder is generally used either in Chinese breakfast porridge or as a Ovaltine-type drink mix).

                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            what's the Chinese name for it?

                                            1. re: fdb

                                              I did a search on Myotonin and it seems to be some sort of enzyme.
                                              How common is it, and what does it do?

                                              1. re: fdb

                                                Thanks ipsedixit. fdb, sorry I didn't note the Chinese name and I haven't tried it, so I can't comment on look or taste. I only recently discovered Taiwanese style shaved ice...and I love it.

                                              2. re: ipsedixit

                                                Have you had it ipsedixit? fdb and Tripeler bring up good questions, ones I'd like to hear the answers to as well..

                                                On a related, but side note, has anyone had shaved ice at Ay Chung?

                                        2. Anyone care to update this thread? What are the current go-to places for shaved ice? Especially appreciate suggestions around Alhambra & Monterey Park :)