Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Happy Ice’s Philly-Style Water Ice is the Perfect Summer Treat

Summer is here and no ‘rona is gonna stop hot days from heating up. I can’t say whether our collective desire to socialize publicly despite the apparent health risks is a testament to our indifference or our endurance. Nevertheless, it’s important to find ways of maintaining some sense of normalcy, albeit with a level of responsibility and respect to the times. 

In the spirit of maintaining that, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lemeir Mitchell, brainchild of popular Melrose Ave. chillzone Happy Ice. Following a wildly successful opening of his first brick & mortar location, during a maelstrom of social unrest and the corona-demic, Lemeir and I talked about his humble beginnings.

Originally from Philadelphia, the imprisonment of his Father sent Mitchell into a phase of youthful recklessness. One which led his concerned uncle Joey to step in as a support system to help him build self confidence. Looking for a fresh start, Mitchell moved to Los Angeles following the passing of his brother. One of 13 siblings, he is no stranger to hard work, as he spent many nights sleeping at his then job at the time, a tattoo parlor.  

One day, he saw an ice cream truck driving around Melrose and was impressed by the visual aesthetic. It was an inspiring and fresh way to approach the traditional ice cream truck. Noticing an opportunity to bring a bit of his hometown to Los Angeles, Mitchell, along with the help of his wife, mother, and many restless nights, created Happy Ice.

Mitchell wanted to introduce Angelinos to one of his hometown’s most popular staples, Philadelphia water ice, one that he says is just as important there as the world famous Philly Cheesesteak. Curiously discovering a way to achieve the same scoop each time, Lemeir credits his “perfect scoop” technique as a main factor to Happy Ice’s instagram following. A visit to their Instagram page is akin to feeling like a kid again, with the colorful allure perfectly suited to social virality.

As for the treat itself, Philadelphia water ice is definitely unique. It blends the creaminess of ice cream with the refreshing ease of shaved ice combined with sorbet-esque flavors. Happy Ice has no dairy, nut products, and uses natural flavors. In other words, it’s everybody-friendly. This inclusive treat stands juxtaposed to the protests which raged around Melrose Avenue, threatening to interfere with the grand opening of Happy Ice’s brick and mortar. A moment after which, the settled dust revealed a landscape of destroyed business fronts and property.

Miraculously, Happy Ice made it through unscathed. As a business owner, Mitchell’s plea to the frustrated masses marching through Melrose was punctuated by a photo of him with the words “Black Owned.” His commitment to the community is rooted in wanting to inspire not only Black business owners but anyone who has a dream. During the recent protests, the Happy Ice squad gave out free cups, hoping to offer a momentary respite from the harrowing moment. This community involvement has been a pillar of Happy Ice’s mission from its inception and continues today.

As the tug of war between the pre-corona and post-corona world persists, Happy Ice continues to serve the community, standing as an example of small-business perseverance. This is the spirit with which every cup of Happy Ice is infused and one Mitchell hopes to pass on in every scoop.

To get your hands on a cup of happiness, stop by Happy Ice on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles or follow their Instagram page to find out where their roving trucks will be pulling up next.

Categories
Film/Television Restaurants Sweets

This Thai Tea Shaved Ice Is The Mt. Everest Of Desserts

In terms of shaved ice mountains, this is one of the biggest and tastiest I’ve ever seen in my life.

The above Instagram video, posted by user Magdalena Fridawati, captures a glorious mound of Thai Tea shaved ice from Luk Kaithong in the EM district of Bangkok, Thailand.

This massive shaved ice is more than just a gigantic pile of sugar and flavor. Magdalena told Foodbeast the cool local flavors and creative additions that make this dessert stand out, from the different types of tea used, to the various boba.

Kaithong starts out by dousing the shaved ice (and a few pieces of bread) in a Thai tea blend of five different kinds of tea: Ceylond Island Sri Lanka Tea, local Southern Thai Tea, Red Tea, Black Leaf Tea, and Emperor Oolong Tea.

The sweet ice is then loaded with scoops of chewy boba and a peak of whipped cream, before being drizzled with copious amounts of sweetened condensed milk.

It’s finally garnished with smaller spheres of white and orange boba, and a generous sprinkle of toasted sliced almonds.

The Thai tea blend soaks into the entire shaved ice, giving you sweet and aromatic flavors throughout the entire dessert experience. Fridawati said she also loved it best when melted, creating a tasty puddle of Thai Iced Milk Tea.

Luk Kaithong’s Thai Tea mountain is a fun, shareable experience that’s also surprisingly affordable. The cost of this entire shaved ice pile, which can easily serve 4-6 people, is 295 Thai bhat, which equals roughly $8.34. A typical individual shaved ice here in the United States is about double the cost at its cheapest.

Thank goodness Spring Break is coming up, ’cause I suddenly want to go to Thailand and try this refreshing concoction for myself.

Categories
Cravings

Strawberry Jam Blast Shaved Ice Bowl

Is there anything better than splurging on a meal that will bring a healthy man deathly close to a diabetic coma? I mean…we did just celebrate National Donut Day with The 13 Most Ridiculous Donuts yesterday, but this Strawberry Jam Blast Shaved Ice Bowl is a sugar wet dream waiting to happen.

This Strawberry Jam Blast Shaved Ice Bowl is filled to the brim with shaved ice, a whole orchard of strawberries and is literally dripping with condensed milk! We got this bad boy at our local Guppy Tea House! If you ever want some delicious desserts, mouth watering dishes or some refreshing tea and boba, make sure to stop by and check them out!

Categories
Sweets

Diddy Riese Cookies: Westwood

diddy_riese_cookies

I was up in Westwood last night with Gio, at his girlfriends place at UCLA. This spot was the first thing you noticed when entering downtown Westwood, probably because of the 75+ person line out front. Diddy Riese offers cookies, shaved ice, and custom made ice cream sandwiches, where you can choose any combo of two cookies and a scoop of any flavor ice cream for $1.50. It was amazing, and sadly I didn’t have a good camera with me so I only got a shot with my phone, which is after the jump.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Guppy House: Oreo Shaved Ice

guppy_ice

The other night after hitting a couple of bars with Elie and the crew, we decided to swing by this spot called Guppy House. Elie had been here before and he recommended I get the small shaved ice. When he said small he didn’t mention that it was still the size of a large baby. About 8 pounds of shaved ice, oreos and condensed milk make this an awesome late night treat!