5 Cold Drinks That Aren't Lemonade: Milk Tea + Affogato
Make cooling off an exercise in geography by investigating the cold drinks you'll find from East Los Angeles to Koreatown. Here are five that should keep you happy when there's a heat wave. Like right now. Turn the page.
B. Hansen Iota's affogato
5. Esaan's Melon Tapioca Drink:
B. Hansen melon tapioca drink at Esaan
Los Angeles may not be as steamy as Bangkok, but that doesn't mean we don't enjoy refreshing cold drinks like Esaan Thai's melon tapioca combo. It's a drinkable fruit salad, composed of watermelon and/or honeydew and cantaloupe. The fruit is so fresh it's still crunchy as you suck it up the straw. You'll be slurping up tiny tapioca pearls too. All this floats in sweetened coconut milk, cooled with ice. Very little sugar is added. "Most of the sweetness comes from the fruit," says restaurant owner Nattha Quan. 601 W. Fifth St., Los Angeles; (213) 488-9995.
4. Rose Falooda at Saffron Spot:
B. Hansen Saffron Spot's rose falooda
Saffron Spot's rose falooda is as sweet and pink a drink as you can get. Rose syrup amps up the color and so does a big scoop of the shop's rose ice cream. Instead of boba, slim rice noodles provide texture. Another exotic component is gelatinous sweet basil seeds (takmaria). All this is stirred together with milk for one of Little India's most popular coolers. 18744 Pioneer Blvd., Artesia; (562) 809-4554.
3. Boiling Point's Milk Green Tea with Pudding:
A. Scattergood Boiling Point's milk green tea with pudding
The green tea that flavors this aromatic drink comes from Taiwan, which is noted for its tea production. Two other components are also Taiwanese: fat dark boba pearls and the square of milk pudding that crumbles as you suck it up the straw with the boba. The pudding is made at the restaurant, but the powdered mix is manufactured in Taiwan. 250 W. Valley Blvd., San Gabriel; (626) 300-9800.
601 W. 5th St., Los Angeles, CA