Cafe Bora, a Korean dessert spot that prides itself on its beautiful confections using 100% natural ingredients, is the perfect quick bite if you find yourself craving something sweet in Los Angeles. The cafe’s roots come from the purple sweet potato, as they specialize in shaved ice and ice cream made from this potato. The first U.S. branch of this popular Korean dessert chain opened up in Koreatown in 2017 and has been serving chic, decadent treats ever since.
I had been wanting to visit the cafe for a while and when I finally made the trip down to Los Angeles, Cafe Bora’s desserts exceeded my expectations. The ambiance of the cafe was very chic and minimalistic. The menu displayed photos of all the items, and seeing all the desserts made me want to try everything. Despite my irrational craving to get every item on the menu, I settled on the persimmon bingsu, the purple potato ice cream and the purple potato tiramisu.
The persimmon bingsu is a shaved ice dessert with persimmon syrup drizzled on top. Unlike other shaved ice syrups, the persimmon syrup tasted extremely fresh and did not taste like any artificial flavoring was used. It was almost as if I just took a bite out of an actual persimmon. Although at first I was scared I would run out of syrup, the dish came with additional syrup in a cute bowl adorned with some purple potato chips and walnuts to prevent that from happening. This bingsu was extremely tasty and its flavor was not at all overbearing.
The purple potato ice cream was just a standard soft serve with purple potato flavoring. It was delicious but nothing too special, although it complemented the chips nicely. I would try this item if you’re looking for something simple yet filling.
The tiramisu, however, was phenomenal. The different layers in the dessert mingled with each other perfectly. The soft sponge cake, purple potato cream and purple potato paste made each bite exceptional and I couldn’t get enough. It wasn’t overly sweet and I enjoyed it so much that I’d say that it’s worth driving through LA traffic just to try this tiramisu.
Overall, Cafe Bora gave me everything I wanted and more. Everything on the menu looked delicious and they even swap out their desserts to fit the freshest ingredients of the season, but don’t worry because their purple potato desserts are offered year round. To make the most out of your visit, I would go with a group of friends so that you can try the most amount of desserts without getting too full.
Winnie Lam currently serves as the On The Menu Editor. She has been a part of the Nexus since 2017.