My New Favorite Summer Dessert: Shaved Ice and Ice Cream and Fruit at Mr. Boba

When people enthuse about something they ate, it’s always a good idea to pay attention. For example, two weeks ago I was at Park’s BBQ in Koreatown with our friends Jim and Jess, and also our friends Jimmy and Raef, and as we were fighting over grilled pieces of rib-eye and skirt steak, Jim mentioned this amazing dessert he and Jess once ate nearby at a place called Mr. Boba. “It’s seriously like the best thing I’ve ever eaten,” he said and before I could yell “Hyperbole!” Jess echoed the sentiment. Which led me to say, “Then why don’t we go there after this?” And everyone nodded their heads in approval.

First, some Korean BBQ images because why not?



Park’s really is my favorite. Now for Mr. Boba.

All of the best places in L.A. are located in little shopping centers with difficult parking. Mr. Boba (on 3rd near Vermont) is no exception.


As we walked in, I was slightly suspicious. The place felt like a typical yogurt shop, the kind I used to go to with my parents in Boca Raton; we were regulars at TCBY, in the 90s, favoring a yogurt parfait with M&Ms and rainbow sprinkles. Would this be different?

Oh yes, it would. I let Jim do the ordering which is why I don’t even know the official name of the dessert we ate (I was holding a table, just like my grandmother would in the aforementioned Boca yogurt shop.) This is what we got (except Jimmy because he’s lactose intolerant) for $4 each:


People, this really is the best summer dessert ever. Let me walk you through it: you have a layer of shaved ice that’s sweetened with condensed milk and possibly coffee (??); then a scoop of ice cream; then a bunch of fruit–but a huge assortment of fruit, everything from lychees to grapes; there were also little tapioca balls (I think that’s the Boba) then more creamy ice cream on top.

Every bite was filled with wonder and refreshment. I even took this kind-of-gross picture halfway down because I wanted you to see some of the details inside the cup:


Wouldn’t you love to eat that on a hot summery date? Even a cold summery day. Or a hot winter’s day. It’s that good.

So thanks Jim and Jess for sharing your secret dessert spot with us. Now the whole world knows, but don’t worry. I’ll still hold us a table.

11 thoughts on “My New Favorite Summer Dessert: Shaved Ice and Ice Cream and Fruit at Mr. Boba”

  1. Jim Cantiello

    We ordered the Mixed Fruit Shaved Ice! I highly recommend the mixed fruit because like Adam wrote, every bite is a new adventure! We have friends who’ve gone ‘all in’ on kiwi or strawberry and they were less food-gasmic about it. Full disclosure – there are more elaborate shaved ice places a few blocks down on 6th street that are REALLY nuts – multiple scoops of ice cream, fruity pebbles, gummi bears, etc etc – but they’re also 2-3x the price. For a quick, casual neighborhood treat tho? Mr. Boba wins. o/

  2. Just had this for the first time last night on 32nd street in Ktown NYC with a friend who is married to a Korean man. We split one and couldn’t finish it!

  3. We had something similar in Vietnam… it had the condensed milk and some Coconut Creme instead of icecream. Absolute heaven!

  4. It’s called “bing soo” or korean shaved ice. It mainly has shaved ice, red bean paste, some sort of sweet syrup, fruits, ice cream, and other random goodies like cereal, boba, and/or mochi. There’s tons of places in Koreatown and surprisingly they all taste different.

  5. Jasper Taylor

    Adam, try Blockheads around the corner from Tsujita Noodles… it is the gold standard for shaved ice… so so so good

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