It’s like Ali versus Frazier, L.A. vs. N.Y., G.M. vs. Toyota, Dan Kim vs. Shelly Hwang, umm, huh?

Oh, well, legend has it that Kim’s Red Mango started the fresh fruit over tart, “yogurt-like” dessert craze in Seoul two full years before Pinkberry was even a glimmer in Hyekyung “Shelly” Hwang’s bidness saavy eye.

Well, Red Mango, which dominates the sweet tooth scene on the tumultuous Korean Peninsula, is opening it’s first U.S. store in Westwood soon—Kim said his first outlet would open on Westwood Blvd in May, but here it is June and it’s— Five other Red Mango’s are to spring up along Venice and Pico boulevards and other locations in and around L.A. and in the San Diego area. Food blog L.A. Eater has been covering the pre-fight action.

But has the champ made his move too late? After all, Crackberry’s customers really do seem addicted. Come on! Seven bucks for a cup of fruit and dairy byproduct? “The taste that launched 1,000 parking tickets,” indeed.

Across town, Tai Kim gets up early each morning to make the mindbending repertoire of flavors—Wild Donkey & Black Licorice, Durian Gray, Cookies ‘n Cream ‘n Sorrow, Ear, Baconwrapped Hot Dog, Baking Soda & Vinegar, PBR&J, Brown Beard, Dennehyberry and my favorite Strawberry Sanchez w/ Sprinkles—that attract customers to his tiny obsesseion-inducing storefront ice cream and gelato shop Scoops adjacent to Los Angeles City College.

Has he been approached to franchise out his popular store? You betcha. But says he’s happy just serving the LACC student body and local residents.

Check it out. The Heliotrope Ave. district near Kim’s Scoops is becoming the funkiest hip experience in an otherwise mini-malled and Grove-y miasma.


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