Restaurant: Salju Dessert
Location: 35 W Valley Blvd, Ste B. Alhambra, CA 91801. (626) 289-3578
Date: September/October, 2013 and many times since
Cuisine: Shave Ice
Rating: Perfect after Szechuan
Most of my San Gabriel valley excursions are to Chinese, and as anyone who eats authentic Chinese knows, you’re more likely to be served taro or red bean than salted caramel budino. And particularly after the sensory assault of Szechuan or Hunan, one needs something to cool off.
Enter Salju Dessert. Here in SoCal we’ve been getting more and more of this kind of Asian shave ice place. I think it originally comes from Taiwan. I already reviewed a Sawtelle outpost. Salju is much further east — but it’s also a lot better.
The format is above. You chose a size, a flavor of “snow” or syrup, and then some toppings.
The snow starts as a block of frozen slightly dairy confection of various flavors. It’s mostly ice, but there is some sweetened condensed milk or something in it.
Once fit into that giant white press in the back, it’s shaved.
Here is some relatively plain “snow.” It’s hard to describe the texture, but as big as this tub is, there is almost nothing there. It’s fluffy, light, and just a little bit chewy.
Here is my favorite combo so far. Mango snow, passionfruit syrup, mango poppers, almond jelly, and blackberries. Sweet, fruity, and intensely refreshing it’s the perfect thing to settle the spice.
Pineapple snow, passionfruit syrup, almond jelly, and strawberries.
Coffee snow, egg pudding, blueberries, and chocolate syrup.
Black sesame (the grey stuff) is a favorite. This one also has sweetened condensed milk, leechee and taro!
And another sesame with almonds and poppers.
Pineapple snow with passion fruit, almond jelly, blackberries, and boba.
Mango snow with strawberries, blueberries, passion fruit syrup and almond jelly.
Coffee snow with coffee jelly, syrup, and almond jelly.
Coconut snow with peanut butter cups, egg custard, and condensed milk.
Green tea snow with chocolate chips.
Classic (sweetened) flavor with gummy bears and Oreos.
Black sesame with berries and chocolate sauce.
Thai ice tea flavored with mochi, graham crackers, and chocolate sauce.
And sweet toast. This innocent looking item is a slice of toast that has been somehow infused with sugar and butter and glazed with sweetened condensed milk. It’s so insanely sweet and rich and somehow a bit like cinnamon toast without the cinnamon but more sugar.
For more LA dining reviews click here,