Halo Halo, Filipino Home Cooking and Exotic Flavors at Shojimoto in Arlington
Just south of UTA on Cooper in Arlington is a new-ish small strip mall that houses about four or five different businesses. Two are restaurants, which might offer the most diverse range of food options of any strip mall in the county. One is a place called Viet-Italia, which, yes, serves Vietnamese and Italian food. It's weird, but surprisingly, works. They do decent business with both pizza, pasta and pho. Crazy.
Next to that is an ice cream shop called Shojimoto (1220 South Cooper St.). They offer an interesting assortment of ice cream flavors, which are all made in-house. But, they also have daily Filipino lunch and dinner specials.
The big draw, however, is an ice cream treat called halo halo, which is a traditional Filipino dessert made with fruit, jelly, shaved ice, milk, flan, red bean, white bean and ice cream. All together. In one cup. It's a layers thing. You go through layers of textures and flavors and crazy, although some customers mix it all together.
Shojimoto offers a wide range of flavors including red bean, sweet corn, taro, buko pandan, pineapple mango, red velvet, cinnamon, jasmine green tea and (wait for it...) cheese. I tried the sweet corn and did not like it at all because it actually tastes exactly like sweet corn. Which is fine, when it's on a cob.
There's also a fried ice cream ball (see below), which is good and also weird. It's actually a ball of cold ice cream with a crunchy, fried, slightly warm exterior.
I didn't try the other food because, honestly, I had no idea they served food. Going in, I thought it was only an ice cream parlor. But, it seems many people love this spot -- some say it's just like grandma's home-cooking. The family that works there is really nice and it's clean and well-run, which are always good signs.
If you want to get an idea of the food, they often take pictures of the daily food specials and post them on Facebook, which is all pretty interesting.
If nothing else, go meet halo halo.