Burrata and Tomato Zoodles

Move over boba: the latest Taiwanese craze to hit Los Angeles is grass jelly drinks and desserts, and there are very long lines to prove it.

Blackball Taiwanese Dessert originated in Taiwan in 2006 and has since become a franchise with stores that span all over Asia. It recently opened its first flagship U.S. store in the San Gabriel Valley, and has been attracting long lines that wrap around the tiny store since its grand opening last month. The Taiwanese import offers a range of desserts made from Taiwanese ingredients like grass jelly, aiyu jelly, red bean soup, sweet potato, and taro.The name “Blackball” comes from a combination of the ‘black’ color of grass jelly and taro ‘balls’.

For those unfamiliar with grass jelly, it is an herbal jelly from Asia. It’s typically served hot or cold by itself, with fruits or with boba drinks. According to traditional Chinese medicine, grass jelly is thought to have yin (AKA cooling properties), which makes it an ideal snack to eat during the warm weather. Blackball’s signature grass jelly dessert is available cold, warm, hot, or icy. Blackball touts itself as Taiwan’s number one grass jelly chain that uses all natural ingredients. That’s quite a ballsy declaration considering how many grass jelly eateries there are in Taiwan.

Ordering is easy though. You place your order at the counter and you get a buzzer that goes off once your order is ready.