Pa Pa Walk
227 W Valley Blvd, Ste 148-B
San Gabriel, CA 91776
This weekend, I went on a food road trip to LA with Boyfriend, Baby Bro and Baby Bro's girlfriend. One day, tons of food stops. We left overstuffed with delicious food. I'll be writing up about the various food places throughout the week. Out of all the food places we tried, the snow shaved ice we had at Pa Pa Walk was the highlight of our trip.
I first heard of snow/snowflake shaved ice from Hungry Girl in Taipei. Since then, I've read about it at a few more places and have been wanting to try it. It's quite popular in Taiwan now. Instead of regular ice blocks, the ice is mixed with condensed milk and then shaved, and the shaved ice is much more fine compared to regular shaved ice. When I read Food Librarian's post on trying the snow shaved ice at Pa Pa Walk, I knew I had to make a stop.
Pa Pa Walk is a small Taiwanese cafe. When we arrived, I wasn't sure which shaved ice choice I wanted. There was a milk tea one, green tea, red bean, cappuccino, or choose your own topping. However, on the display case there was a mango snow shaved ice. Normally, I like lots of toppings in my shaved ice including sticky rice balls, red beans, etc. But everyone around me had ordered the mango shaved ice, so we ordered it as well.
We ordered a small, which was $10.50. It's probably the priciest shaved ice I've ever ordered. But the taste. The taste was amazing. Even though I read about how fine the shaved ice was, and how good it tasted with the condensed milk, I wasn't prepared for how it tasted. I've had fine shaved ice before in Hawaii. But it still tasted like ice. The snow shaved ice is almost a completely different substance. As soon as you dig your spoon in, you know something's different. Instead of hitting ice, it's soft. The ice is shaved so fine that it's almost a powder and so you are left with something that is more creamy than icy. It's almost like eating ice cream.
Normally, I like lots of distractions in my shaved ice. Or else I'm basically just eating ice. However, here, I was just really enjoying the ice by itself. Also the snow ice doesn't melt as fast as regular shaved ice. If you've had regular shaved ice, you know that no matter how fast you eat it, you'll be left with a puddle of water shortly after you start eating it. We were able to gobble this entire shaved ice without it really melting. Boyfriend normally doesn't enjoy shaved ice. But he loved this is as well. "This is shaved ice I would eat," he declared.
Everyone loved the shaved ice. I'm glad we ordered it with the mangos. It allowed us to enjoy the shaved ice by itself, accompanied only by some mango syrup and some sweet mango slices. This is the fastest I've seen shaved ice consumed.
Since we were in a Taiwanese cafe, I couldn't help but order some snacks. I ordered the fried stinky tofu. The tofu were really puffy. I liked the tofu and the sauce, though the taste of the stinky tofu wasn't too strong. I wasn't a fan of the pickled cabbage that accompanied the tofu. I thought they were too sour and they weren't spicy.
We also ordered the oyster pancake. I don't know why I feel compelled to order oyster pancake whenever I see it on the menu. So far, most of the places I've had it at have been really disappointing. I wasn't a fan of the one at Pa Pa Walk's. It was too mushy and soft.
Pa Pa Walk's also carries frozen dumplings. They are a bit pricier than ones I've bought in Monterey Park or from Sinbala in Arcadia. But I did notice that they even have lamb dumplings. Since I didn't know how they tasted, I didn't buy any. Maybe next time. I wasn't too impressed with the food we ordered, but I loved, loved the shaved ice.
We were seated at a table in front of these footprints with signatures. I assume they were of famous people who have stopped by but I couldn't really read any of the signatures. The only I think I recognized was that of Vanness Wu (F4, Meteor Garden), and only because there was his picture next to his signature. I've always admired his story. An ABC kid, doesn't read chinese, yet gets cast in a scripted Taiwanese drama that made him one of most well known singers/actors in Asia. Still not sure how he read those scripts. It gives me hope that I could potentially find a career as a Taiwanese drama actress if I can ever learn how to cry on cue.
While we were sitting there, Boyfriend noticed this sign. If you've been reading his Funny Foto Friday columns, you'll know he is always noticing these funny signs/images. I would not have noticed these weird signs if it wasn't for him. Even after studying them, I am still unsure what exactly they are supposed to mean. Boyfriend will give you his thoughts in his friday column. But here is a preview of the signs:
Now, I'm completely obsessed with the shaved ice. Afterward, I was searching to find out where else I could get it at. I found that it is also served at ID Cha House and Class 302. Both will require another road trip. Readers, do you have any recommendations for places that serve snow ice?