You may not have had a craving for shaved snow during this past, incredibly cold week, but maybe make a mental note of this for the inevitable Los Angeles winter heat wave: Blockheads Shavery Company officially opened in Alhambra last Saturday. This is the shop's second location; the first, as you may have discovered one day while waiting in a long line at Tsujita, is right off of Sawtelle Boulevard in West Los Angeles.
For the uninitiated, shaved snow is a Taiwanese dessert in which a frozen block of sweetened milk is thinly shaved onto a bowl or plate and topped with various fun things like mochi and red beans. On the scale from Hawaiian shaved ice to Fosselman's ice cream, it falls somewhere in between, though aesthetically it resembles neither end of the scale: It looks more like ruffles on a puffy shirt than a frozen treat. When you take a spoonful, it'll be airy and delicate and melt in your mouth, much like powdered snow.
Blockheads calls its rendition of the dessert "snow cream," and if you've been to Class 302 or other San Gabriel Valley shops that specialize in shaved snow, its menu will look familiar: You'll choose a base flavor (original with sweetened milk, matcha, strawberry, black sesame, almond), some toppings (almond jelly, red beans, chewy rice cakes, etc.), then an optional drizzle or two of condensed milk or chocolate or the like. For those easily paralyzed by the tyranny of choice, there are a few suggested combinations on the menu; try, for instance, the black sesame with rice cakes, cookies 'n' cream and coconut puree.
As with Blockheads' original location, there are two sizes available, regular and large, but note that two people with a profound sweet tooth would be quite content sharing a regular. Well, more than content, really, as Blockheads' snow cream really is terrific: The base flavors, particularly the black sesame, aren't cloyingly sweet, and the texture of the snow cream is fantastic. Whether it will displace Class 302 or Salju as your shaved-snow destination of choice will depend on a lot of things, but surely it's well worth consideration. Even on a 45-degree day.
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