Patbingsoo (팥빙수)

A minimalist expression of dessert, the simplest form Patbingsoo might only have three ingredients: sweet red beans (“pat”), shaved ice (“bingsoo”), and condensed milk. The result is a mild, barely-there sweet that is both refreshing and satisfying. 

With early origins in the Joseon dynasty (1392–1897), Patbingsoo has evolved into a now-ubiquitous South Korean dessert. But you don’t need to fly to Asia to give it a try; Anko in L.A.’s Koreatown delivers an elegant take on this classic summery dessert. On the corner of Western Ave and 4th St, Anko is an unassuming gem.

Visit Anko to taste for yourself the powder-fresh snowy texture, topped with chewy rice cake (“tteok”), and complete with a bit of walnut and almond crunch. Anko’s Patbingsoo is a lightly fluffy and creamy delight (on Anko’s menu, it’s called “milk”). 

Bingsoo (빙수)

“Bingsoo” (빙수) without “pat” (팥) is simply shaved ice without the red bean, and Anko has plenty of innovative Bingsoo options to choose from, such as oreo cream or mango. Although the base ingredient is always shaved ice, Bingsoo’s texture is more like a soft sorbet than a crunchy snow cone.

Now with countless non-traditional variations to match any mood, you can load your Bingsoo with almost anything imaginable, from fresh fruit to hearty toasted soybean powder. Injeolmi (인절미) and matcha (말차) are two popular toppings in both South Korea and L.A.’s Koreatown. With an abundance of dessert options in the area, don’t miss a trip to Anko if you’re ever in L.A.