An avalanche of mochi, condensed milk, and sweet red beans tumbles down the sides of a green tea mountain. The Taiwanese have taken shaved ice to new heights, and at Class 302 (1015 S. Nogales St., Ste. 125, Rowland Heights, 626-965-5809), a fluffy variety known as “snow” is offered with such toppings as lotus seeds, purple taro, and grass-flavored gelatin. The Chinese passion for sweets borders on obsession, and the range of sugary delights shows a global influence. At Phoenix Bakery
(969 N. Broadway, Chinatown, 213-628-4642), pastry shells filled with a Portuguese-style egg custard stay warm beneath a heat lamp. The glass case at the Taiwanese-owned Vanille de Patisserie
(2968 Huntington Dr., San Marino, 626-286-3600) is stocked with haute couture cakes worthy of Paris. The odiferous durian fruit is among the fillings for mochi rolls at Phoenix Dessert
(220 E. Valley Blvd., Alhambra, 626-299-1918). Or regulate your qi
with medicinal turtle jelly at Nature Pagoda (312 W. Valley Blvd., San Gabriel, 626-570-8333). Smothered in syrup, it’s cooling, with a hint of licorice and not a trace of shell.
Photograph by Alex Farnum