Drips & Swirls in Koreatown, L.A

In August 2016, Drips & Swirls  introduced charcoal soft serve ice cream to L.A.  Yes, that’s right- this is where the charcoal soft serve originated in the city.  The four owners- DJ, David, Roger, and Sunny, are extremely proud in delivering high quality products to their customers which all flavors and cones are handcrafted with pure thoughtfulness. Their frozen treat is made with real milk and with zero artificial binders, powders, or shortcuts. All flavors are inspired by their Korean and American background as well as elements from their childhood. Each cone is made with love and decorated with nostalgia.

One of the owners, DJ, has been infatuated with ice cream since childhood and it’s only appropriate that he became the chef at Drips & Swirls. He created two staple flavors and constantly formulates new and innovative flavors to rotate throughout the week.

For the first staple, DJ opted in making a non-traditional vanilla flavor since he wanted to create something unique. His drive to create something new paved way for the first Charcoal Crispy Rice soft-serve in L.A. It took DJ about seven months to perfect this signature flavor.  The textures are smooth with mild toasty and sweet flavors. DJ dedicated the second staple, Melona, to his mom since she loved the Korean Melon Bars. If you ever had one of these bars, you will quickly know that their Melona flavor taste exactly like it. In addition to these flavors, DJ also develops rotating flavors such as Haute Cheetoh, Mango Pop, Fig with Toasted Brioche, Chocolate Pretzel, Captain Crunch, and Thai Tea.

The owners at Drips & Swirls strives to provide a comfortable space for their visitors. Most importantly, they truly want to provide 100% handcrafted soft serve ice creams for a reasonable price. There is no exaggeration when they say that their products are completely made from scratch. They embody their slogan – “ALL FLAVOR. NO GIMMICKS” Many tasks are done by manual labor- from soaking the rice in to the base, crisping the rice, buying the melons at the farmers markets, dehydrating the fresh melons, extracting flavors, composing the cone batter, and the list goes on and on. They even close every Monday to use the time to create fresh batches of soft serves for the week.

The soft serves at Drips & Swirls are one of a kind. My favorite flavors were the Charcoal Crispy Rice and Captain Crunch. I absolutely loved their ice cream cones because it was light and it had the rice cracker flavors that I remembered as a kid. 🙂 If you are in L.A, I highly recommend to try them.

Address: 3076 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005

Fun Facts:

  • There’s a witty reason why DJ created Charcoal Crispy Rice as the first flavor. As mentioned in the beginning, all their flavors are inspired by elements of childhood. In the past, he would eat a plethora of Ben & Jerry ice cream until his stomach hurt, which he would then cure with activated charcoal medicine. When it was time to create his very own soft serve, it made sense for DJ to include activated charcoal in it.
  • DJ does his best to recycle all ingredients. For example, after the rice is filtered from ice cream base, it is then used to make their rice cones.
  • David is in charge of marketing and interior design. Sunny and Roger are in charge of management logistics.


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2 comments on “Drips & Swirls in Koreatown, L.A

  1. Sounds like some hard-working ice cream makers!


  2. Charcoal and Cheetoh ice cream??!! Wow– lots of inventive work going on there! Loved you photos (and, of course, love ice cream!) Fun post Celcilia!! Always interesting to find the spots you visit! thanks! xox


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