It is unbelievably hot in LA today!! I don’t know the exact temperature, but it’s so hot that you can step right out of your air conditioned room and beads of sweat will start forming on your neck and shoulders before the door even closes. Lovely.

This weather completely justified a mid afternoon break with Trisha to Alley Café in Rowland Heights to satisfy cravings for a good bowl of bing su, the Korean take on shave ice. It’s so happy looking isn’t it?! I thought it was overpriced at $6.50, but anything cold at this point sounded very attractive. A mound of shaved ice, condensed milk allll over, bananas, kiwis, strawberries and little mochi balls – how could anyone not love this? At the top sat a round of strawberry ice cream and fruity pebbles sprinkled about. It was almost too adorable to eat, but nothing stops a hungry Kathy.

That hit the spot!

Afterwards we headed next door to Greenland Market to satisfy another craving in the making. In this case it was for Korean dduk. Sarah over at The Delicious Life has got her dduk down, so head over here to learn more.

Only one bakery in Honolulu produces dduk, and while the quality is good, variety is limited, so the vast options here in LA was quite an amazing sight for me.

We saw this…

And this.

This too…

Almost there…

Look at this!

But finally I settled on this. Pumpkin Dduk. I love pumpkin in any and all forms, and the slightly misshaped ugliness of this last one sitting alone appealed to me in a way that strange foods often do. And how much fun it is to eat this! I like Korean mochi about 10 million times for than Japanese mochi because the Korean ones are more cakey-like and not nearly as sweet. I feel as if I could make a meal out of this and still feel somewhat healthy afterwards, heehee.

Made from a base of sweet rice and beans, there are three layers involved with this pumpkin dduk. First the main cakey layer, then sliced pumpkin, and at the top is my favorite part. Unfortunately I have no clue what is on the top, so if you could help me out, I’d greatly appreciate it! It’s crumbly, almost like kinako powder in little clumps that melt in your mouth. Only these have more substance, little flavor, though it’s the texture I love. Some claim that Korean mochi has no flavor, but it’s that particular sort of hearty subtleness that attracts me.

However, there is something I worry about. There’s a sticker on every single package of Dduk that says, “discard within 24 hours.” The packages of dduk in Hawaii don’t say this! What will happen? Will the dduk turn a frightening shade of green? Will it explode? There’s no way I could finish this in 24 hours given my big lunch, bing su snack and an upcoming dinner at an Indian restaurant. So I’m going to cross my fingers and hope it doesn’t turn moldy tomorrow morning. Maybe I’ll stick it in the fridge. Or who knows, I just might wake up in the middle of the night and polish it off!

Alley Café
18927 Colima Road
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
(626) 839-0744

Greenland Market
18901 Colima Rd
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
(626) 912-1012

  • anonymous
    April 28, 2007

    I like the before and after pics of the shave ice

  • hellokitty893112
    April 28, 2007

    Somehow the shaved ice looked kinda scary to me…probably because there’s a TON of toppings or that Fruity Pebbles that scared me. Anyways, I love pumpkin anything too! Even though pumpkin is out of season, in a way, it’s still tasty to me.

  • anonymous
    April 29, 2007

    great blog! i’m from san francisco, but i lived in oahu for a little over a year and now i’m stuck in the inland empire (pomona) for pharmacy school. thank u for all the restaurant tips! :) have u been to the marukai in west covina? i like getting their ahi steaks, misoyaki butterfish, and POG in a can! it all takes me back to paradise and away from this smoggy place! :)

  • Kathy YL Chan
    April 30, 2007

    Hey Aaron!hehe, it was so good, especially on such a hot day! :)Hey Tina!lol, the fruity pebbles does make it look all crazy. But somehow it pairs unusually well with condensed milk! :)Hey Anon, Thanks for the comment :) Why’d you ever leave san franscisco! I would love live there and eat…and visit the ferry market every weekend, hehe! I’ve gone to the west covina marukai twice, such good quality produce and fish (it puts anything you get in the inland empire to shame :)

  • Jen
    April 30, 2007

    hi! i only left SF for school :) i’m going back for the whole summer so i’m excited! i go to the ferry building allllll the time and i miss all the restaurants up there! let me know if you ever go up to SF for a visit and i can give u MY recommendations. take care :P

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