Los Angeles is no stranger to great ice cream or gelato shops, but “water ice” spots? That’s a new one for a lot of people. Happy Ice is here to change that.
If you grew up in - or have spent significant time around - Philadelphia, you no doubt already know about “water ice” (you probably also pronounce it “WUDDER ICE”). After all, the dairy-free dessert (alert to all vegans) has long been a summertime staple in the city, thanks to its creamy texture, fruity flavors, and shaved ice aesthetic.
Philly native Lemeir Mitchell brought his hometown treat to LA in 2017 when he opened Happy Ice as a roaming dessert truck, and over time, built a rabid following. Today, there are two different trucks, plus a new order-at-the-counter shop that just opened on Melrose to massive (and socially distant) crowds. So with summer now officially underway, we checked out the new brick-and-mortar spot to find our favorite flavors - and got a brain freeze in the process. But it was worth it. Here’s what you should pick up to cool down.
photo credit: All Star "water ice" from Happy Ice
WAter Ice RUNDOWN
Rainbow Rocket: Happy Ice’s menu has eight individual flavors, but if it’s your first time visiting, go for one of the “Favorite Combinations,” and in particular, Rainbow Rocket. It’s a mix of every flavor on the menu and the perfect introduction into what Happy Ice is all about. It’s also delicious.
Strawberry Lemon Lush: In reality, we’re probably going to have a new favorite flavor every time we visit this summer, but right now, it’s Strawberry Lemon Lush. It’s sweet, citrusy, and was gone before we got back to the car.
All Star: This one is a special just in time for the July 4th weekend, and is a combination of Blueberry Blast, Lucky Lemon, and Strawberry. It looks great and tastes even better.
Time Machine: The Time Machine might not have the immediate curb appeal of Rainbow Rocket, but this cherry-mango-pineapple combination is one of our favorites on the menu.
photo credit: Time Machine "water ice" from Happy Ice