TCHS Rampage

Temple City High School


September 5, 2017

Char-cool, creamy treat in the heat

d&p 4
Activated charcoal soft serve has become a trendy, aesthetic food on social media. Drips and Swirls and Little Damage are two popular dessert shops well known for their charcoal soft serve.
Drips and Swirls
Located in Koreatown, Los Angeles in 8th Street Plaza, Drips and Swirls is a tiny, isolated shack favored for their soft serve and coffee. Customers order through a walk-up window and may enjoy their soft serve while lounging in a plant decorated wooden deck.
There were a few customers around on a Saturday afternoon, so it was quiet around the shack and in the seating area.
Drips and Swirls’ soft serve flavors were created by Co-owner and Chef DJ, who draws inspiration from his childhood and Korean background. He continously develops more unique flavors while keeping the soft serve 100% dairy and completely made from scratch.
The small shop sells around three to four flavors a day, with prices ranging from $4.50 to $5.00. The Charcoal Crispy Rice with Toasted Rice Puffs, Korean Melon Bar and Captain Crunch are regulars on the menu, whereas other flavors such as Salty Coco Pie, Not Vanilla with a Special Swirl and Twinkle Sprinkles and Haute Cheeto rotate weekly.
The workers are welcoming and happy to answer any questions first-timers may have.
Priced at $5.00, Drips and Swirls’ most popular soft serve is the Charcoal Crispy Rice With Toasted Rice Puffs. Consumers have the choice of paying $0.50 extra for a charcoal cone instead of eating from a cup.
The perfectly swirled, gray charcoal soft serve was thick and creamy. It had a subtle vanilla and coconut flavor along with a hint of salt.
The white rice puffs sprinkled on top were flavorless, but very crunchy. The charcoal cone had no distinct flavor and lacked the crispness of a typical waffle cone because of its brittleness. The dessert altogether is enjoyable and filling, although the charcoal cone may only be ideal for pictures.
Overall, the delicious, phenomenal soft serve had a flavor like no other and was a pleasure to eat. Although the trip to Koreatown is a bit far, the reward of having a delicious dessert is definitely worth the drive.
Little Damage
Little Damage is a small, family owned soft serve shop located on the corner of Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles. For those that happen to be in the area, it is recommended to head over and give their soft serve a try.
Loud, modern music plays throughout the store as a long line winds out the door and onto the sidewalk. Customers all around take pictures in the free photo booth or of their soft serve with decorative neon signs and murals on the sidewalk. A few chairs and tables lean against the wall for people to relish their delicacy in the hipster-type ambiance.
The simple menu has three to four flavors that change seasonally, with at least one vegan option per rotation. Dark Cinns, an old charcoal ice cream flavor, is replaced with Mother of Dragons, along with three more current flavors called Unicorn Tears, Vegan Maple French Toast and Spicy Mango Tango.
Consumers may pick one or two soft serve flavors from the menu at the cost of $6.00, add one free topping such as popcorn or fruity pebbles and eat it from a plastic cup or paying an additional $1.00 for a charcoal cone. The workers are kind and patient, and give out free samples upon request.
One of the old menu items was called Dark Cinns, which is a dark gray horchata flavored charcoal soft serve. The freshly made soft serve emanated a faint cinnamon smell, and had a strong vanilla flavor with a slight, indistinguishable taste of cinnamon.
Oreos, the chosen topping, wrapped around the bottom of the soft serve and added crunchiness to the dessert. The black charcoal cone was fragile but very crispy, and tasted exactly like a waffle cone. Altogether, the creamy treat was tasty, but melted too quickly on a hot summer’s day.
Lines are long and soft serve is pricey, but it is a great choice for those who aim to take aesthetic pictures for their social media.
Both Drips and Swirls and Little Damage are worth a try for those who have never heard of charcoal soft serve. However, Drips and Swirls may be more appealing due to their exceptional rotating flavors and shorter lines.

About the Author

Zoe Hsu
Zoe Hsu is a sophomore and staff writer. She enjoys trying new food and going on thrill rides.



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