Get Organic Cotton Candy On Your Ice Cream At This New K-Town Shop
You don't need to wait for a carnival to get your cotton candy fix. There's a new Koreatown dessert shop that melds two sweets together by putting fluffy, flavored cotton candy on top of soft serve. It's equal parts delicious and adorable.
CottonHi, which is on Sixth Street in a bustling plaza it shares with Korean BBQ and pho restaurants, opened recently at the end of October. While there are other shops out there that also do this cotton candy and ice cream combo like IOTA Brew Cafe, CottonHi's thing is that they use organic and non-artificial ingredients.
Owner Minsu Kim, 29, tells LAist that she wanted to use organic ingredients because she has a 2-year-old son (who's also the inspiration behind CottonHi's cute cotton candy-haired cartoon logo), and she wanted a dessert that he could have. CottonHi is her first business venture, and up until now she was a stay-at-home mother.
Minsu Kim designed the CottonHi logo, which was based on her 2-year-old son (Photo by Jean Trinh/LAist)
Kim adds that she also just thinks that combining the two items makes for a fun dessert that reminds people of going to amusement parks or carnivals. The shop is akin to that child-like feeling, with their glass wall covered in colorful writing and drawings, and glass jars filled with cotton candy. There's a giant, metal #COTTONHI sign perched on the counter (that we imagine is geared towards millennials who love to Instagram), and tables and chairs lining the space.
CottonHi has a pretty extensive menu, but Kim suggests starting off with the shop's "Hi CottonHi" dessert. It's a vanilla, milk-based soft serve topped with cotton candy. There are six flavors of cotton candy to choose from: strawberry, lemonade, double mint, chocolate, salted caramel and coffee. I try a small bite of each of the cotton candy flavors, and they all taste different and light, without that sickeningly sweet sugary aftertaste you normally get from carnival cotton candy.
Kim's favorite is the salted caramel, and I trust her and try it out. I'm a little apprehensive that this dessert will be so sweet I'll get a toothache, but it's actually rather balanced. The soft serve isn't overly sweet, and the salted caramel cotton candy is light in flavor and texture, complementing each other. There are also colorful Lucky Charms marshmallows decorating the fluffy cloud.
I find that it's not very easy to eat, as I try to scrape the cotton candy with my spoon into the ice cream, but then I realized the best way to go is to just spoon the ice cream into my mouth and take a bite off the top of the cotton cloud. It's a fun adventure eating it, but be aware that it can get a little messy. Don't even think about trying to take this dessert to-go.
All the other ice cream options are more than your basic soft serve. They're vanilla soft serve with different toppings and drizzle combos that don't come with cotton candy, but you can add that on for an extra dollar. I added cotton candy to all the ones I tried. You might as well go big or go home when it comes to your Instagrams of these cute desserts.
As for the other offerings I try, my favorite is the Mango Cheese Delight. The vanilla soft serve is swirled with mango sauce drizzled, and topped with cubed mangoes and bites of cheese cake, which make for a nice surprise of texture. I top this one with strawberry cotton candy, a suggestion the store's manager makes, who says fruity ones like that or lemonade go best with this item.
Another fun ice cream is their Tiramisu, which comes with soft serve, mascarpone cheese and chocolate powder. The best part is this one has a huge lady finger stuck in the side of the cup, and an injector with a extra shot of coffee that you can squeeze all over the ice cream and cotton candy. They win us over with the interactive presentation. The best cotton candy flavors that go with this one are chocolate and coffee.
The shop also offers a variety of drinks from cold brew coffee to strawberry lemonade and a virgin mojito. You can even top those with cotton candy if you wish, because you're an adult and you can do whatever you want.
CottonHi is located at 3825 W 6th St. in Koreatown, (213) 263-1905. It's open Sundays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Drinks and ice cream ranges from $3.50 to $4.50.
Sign on the CottonHi counter (Photo by Jean Trinh/LAist)
The glass wall at CottonHi covered in colorful scribbling and drawings (Photo by Jean Trinh/LAist)