If you feel as though you’re sweating away your will to live, you can always head to Koreatown for a cool-down. Skip the beach (too far) and the pool (too crowded) because LA’s soft-serve capital is the only thing that will see us through this insanity.
1. Ah Boong from Somi Somi
621 S. Western Ave., Ste 208A
Ah boong is the combination of a fish shaped pastry, called bungeoppang, and ice cream. Somi Somi’s bungeoppang is slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with a sweet filling of red bean paste, custard, or Nutella. You can create your own ah boong at Somi Somi by choosing your soft-serve flavors, the bungeoppang filling, and your toppings.
2. Charcoal Crispy Rice Soft-Serve from Drips and Swirls
3076 W. 8th St.
The craziest soft-serve flavors in L.A. come from a tiny ice cream shack called Drips and Swirls. They have a rotating menu that changes out every few days or until they run out. Their inventive flavors are inspired by popular childhood treats like Kool-Aid, Cheetos, and chocolate pretzels. But they’re known for their signature charcoal crispy rice flavor, which they’ve been doing since before charcoal ice cream was even a thing.
3. Injeolmi Bingsoo from Sul & Beans
621 S. Western Ave., Ste 208
Injeolmi is Korean sweet rice cake – or mochi – covered in soybean or multigrain powder. It’s a traditional Korean snack that’s been around for hundreds of years. In modern-day K-Town, injeolmi bingsoo (shaved ice) is a popular dessert. This modern classic can be found at Sul & Beans. They top it with mochi, multigrain powder, condensed milk, and red beans.
4. Unicone from Beard Papa’s
621 S. Western Ave., Ste 103
Beard Papa’s is better known for its amazing cream puffs – they are incredibly scrumptious – but they also have ice cream on the menu. Its unicone is a J-shaped corn cereal cone, known as jipangyi, and it’s stuffed with vanilla soft-serve. This oddly shaped cone is more than photo fodder. It’s actually quite practical. It’s easy to carry around and leaves no mess as your ice cream melts.
5. Cremia from Creme
3726 W. 6th St.
The cremia from Creme is a thing of beauty. Those smooth layers of rich soft-serve are almost too pretty to eat. Almost. Creme’s soft-serve is a super creamy milk flavor and can be topped off with different flavored powders (try the black sesame), cereals, and cookie crumbs. The buttery shortbread cookie cone is a must, and it’s now available in the black charcoal variety too.
6. Mango Melon Ice Flakes from Homibing
3300 W. 6th St., Unit 2
There is no shortage of bingsoo in K-Town, but the shaved ice from Homibing isn’t like the rest. Unlike other bingsoo, Homibing’s ice flakes have the appearance of cascading ice crystals and come in an assortment of flavors and colors. The refreshing mango melon flakes are served out of a hollowed melon and topped with melon balls.
7. Ice Cream Sandwiches from Snow Monster
3465 W. 6th St., Ste 120
Originally from the OC, Snow Monster just opened in Koreatown. And lucky for us, they brought their delicious ice cream sandwiches. They have several different flavored macarons to choose from, including our favorites: dirt + worms (topped with cookie crumbles and gummy worms), and almond cloud. But nothing beats the Oreo-stuffed-chocolate-chip-cookie-ice-cream-sandwich. It’s a beast and puts other cookie ice cream sandwiches to shame.
8. Dragon’s Breath from Chocolate Chair
621 S. Western Ave.
The coldest and most simple dessert in town comes from Chocolate Chair. It’s made with two ingredients: cereal and liquid nitrogen, which gives it that fun smoky effect. Dragon’s Breath was an Instagram sensation last year, but this K-Town favorite never gets old.
9. Dragon Fruit Lychee Soft-Serve from Bumsan Organic Milk Bar
Bumsan recently took over the old I Love Boba space on Western. Not sure where that is? Just look for the pink building. It’s the same color pink as its dragon fruit lychee soft-serve. This fruity flavor really does taste like lychee and dragon fruit, and it comes in your choice of color-coordinated sprinkled cake cone.
534 S. Western Ave.