Restaurant Review #274: Blockheads, West LA, Sawtelle

Green tea snow cream with condensed milk drizzle, $4

So you know how sometimes shave ice isn't that satisfying because it's just ice with sugary syrup on it, and sometimes ice cream--well, there's never anything wrong with ice cream. But Blockheads has found a way to improve on both with something it calls "snow cream."

Blockheads usually has four snow cream flavors available, which you can pimp out with various drizzles like caramel, chocolate sauce, or sweetened condensed milk and toppings like mochi, sweetened red beans, or almond jelly. And if your tastes veer more American than Asian, there are chocolate chips, cookies and cream, or strawberries. One drizzle is included in the price; toppings are extra. A regular size is about $4, and a large is about $6.

I went to the one on Sawtelle in West LA. They open around lunchtime and close late. This place is popular, so don't count on getting a table or running in and out. The lines can get long--it takes longer to make a shaved snow than to pull the handle on a froyo machine or scoop an ice cream cone.

But it's worth the wait. I'll wait a good 30 minutes for this fluffy, sweet stuff. If you go easy on the toppings, it's the perfect light dessert after you've stuffed yourself silly with ramen or burgers or sushi.

Blockheads also has locations in Alhambra and Pasadena.

11311 Mississippi Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 445-8725
Blockheads website
Blockheads menu


Restaurant Review #273: Old School Sandwiches & Salads, Simi Valley

The RB, $7.95

The RB is a warm, medium-rare roast beef sandwich with fresh baby spinach, roasted red bell peppers, caramelized onions, garlic aioli, havarti cheese, and balsamic dressing on a fresh artisan sub roll.

The bread is on the softer side, like you'd expect for a submarine sandwich. That makes the sandwich easier to eat, but also means it doesn't keep well (they don't use preservatives, either). If you're the type to save half your sandwich for later (like me), you might want to order the two-fer-one instead. For $7.95 (the same price as most sandwiches), you'll get half a cold sandwich and half a salad or a cup of soup.

There are 14 sandwiches to choose from, so anyone should be able to find something to enjoy here. Other hot sandwich options include a roast beef dip and pulled pork. There's nothing terribly unusual or creative on the menu, just classics like turkey, pastrami, and ham and swiss. They also have daily specials and homemade chili.

Vegetarian sandwich options include egg salad, grilled three cheese, and the Wrap Me Up Healthy, a wrap served in a whole-wheat tortilla. It has the same ingredients as the RB minus the roast beef plus avocado and sauteed mushrooms.

Old School's sandwiches definitely taste fresh and healthy, like something your mom would make if only she had more time. They're less salty than your typical chain sandwich. The shop doesn't have the fastest service, but that's because they make your food to order. It's family owned and operated, and the employees are genuinely friendly. They'll ask you how your day is going and seem to actually care about your response.

The interior is very clean, bright and sunny, with teal-turquoise walls and gray-white wood floors. there are plenty of tables inside and a few on the patio, but it can be hard to find a seat on a Saturday afternoon. It's located in a strip mall, with plenty of parking.

The next time you think you want Subway, go to Old School instead.

Old School Sandwiches and Salads
1464 Madera Rd.
Simi Valley, CA 93065
Monday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Old School Sandwiches and Salads website 
Old School Sandwiches and Salads menu