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A Charming Shop Specializing in Japanese Shave Ice Sweetens Convoy Street

Ko-Li Bar makes light and fluffy kakigori as well as fruit and cream sandos

The front of a Japanese shave ice shop.
The storefront.
Candice Woo

The latest delight to land on Convoy Street is a storefront dedicated to a traditional Japanese kakigori, an anytime treat consisting of impossibly light and fluffy shaved ice sweetened with syrups and other flavorings. Established by the team behind area standouts like Yakitori Hino and Yakitori Taisho, Ko-Li Bar has opened next to Yakyudori, the group’s ramen and yakitori shop.

Ko-Li’s kakigori starts with frozen blocks of spring water imported from Japan by Kuramoto Ice, a 100-year-old company based in Kanazawa that also makes impeccably clear ice cubes and spheres for cocktail bars and drink enthusiasts. Shaved into a feathery flurry, the shaved ice is topped with homemade syrups created for the store by a Japanese pastry chef.

A Japanese-themed dining area.
One of the seating areas.
Candice Woo

The menu includes mango shave ice with mango and milk syrup and honey cream as well as a matcha version and a chocolate concoction that layers the melt-in-your-mouth ice with chocolate mousse, cornflakes, and vanilla ice cream. Cutest of all is a bear-shaped kakigori made with strawberry and milk syrup, vanilla ice cream, and strawberry cream.

Japanese strawberry shave ice in the shape of a bear head.
The adorable Strawberry Bear.
Candice Woo

Open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 10 p.m., Ko-Li also does portable kakigori parfaits in flavors like peach, strawberry, and matcha, which come in to-go cups, along with trendy milk bread sandwiches filled with fresh fruit and cream.

Ko-Li Bar

4898 Convoy Street #103, San Diego, CA 92111