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Downtown LA's Newest Restaurant Is a Quirky Snow Cone Space Dream

From snow cones to pulled chicken sandwiches to a space theme, Taste of Universal has it all

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The building at 600 S. Spring St., Downtown
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Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Have you had the chance to check out Downtown LA’s new Taste of Universal on Spring Street? The mostly takeaway shop has been quietly up and running for more than a month, but word is just getting around about them now — and boy does the place sound like a doozy.

First up is the concept. Founder Khalil Long, a self-described celebrity barber, decided to open Taste of Universal (yes, that’s the real name, and in no way is it affiliated with anything at Universal CityWalk or beyond) after realizing there were no snow cone shops anywhere in Downtown. But according to a press release being sent around, Long quickly “found out I would still have to build a whole kitchen … I expanded the vision into a full blown eatery.”

So now the place does snow cones as well as sliders and sandwiches served on Kings Hawaiian bread (there’s a partnership there, apparently), plus DIY salad bowls and sides like mac and cheese. As for those cones, expect something like 28 different flavors with toppings ranging from candy to banana to cucumber.

Complement your taste buds with a #Tasteofuniversal #dtla #on 6th st between Spring and Main #wheresuperheroeseat

A photo posted by Taste Of Universal LLC (@tasteofuniversaldtla) on

And as for the decor, expect a sci-fi space theme, complete with “company mascot, Kal Bane AKA The Moonman.” There’s a long melting planet mural along one wall, a glowing neon snow cone sign, and The Moonman floating around as well. This is mostly a space for takeaway orders, but you can find some barter seating along the walls as needed.

So far, the place seems to still be settling in to Downtown, and the idea to bring snow cones to the neighborhood is a great one. They’ve got five stars on Yelp (with just a few reviews, mind you), and keep late night hours until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Otherwise, expect daily hours from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Taste of Universal
600 S. Spring St. #108
Los Angeles, CA