John Park is capitalizing on his ambitions. The longtime pastry chef from leading establishments like Water Grill and Lukshon now operates two Quenelle ice cream parlors, in Burbank and San Marino, and runs the Ice Que shaved snow shop in Alhambra. In his “spare time,” he’s also launched a line of what may be L.A.’s first chef-driven juices under the Drink Juice label from his San Marino outpost.
Park said, “We use a cold press, which is the closest you can get to eating raw fruits/veggies. You get the best flavor and most amount of nutrients with the cold press method.” His plastic bottles, which cost $8-9, benefit from Park’s profound understanding of how flavors interplay, which is where a chef of his stature could distinguish Drink Juice from competing cold-pressed juice concepts that have sprouted up like weeds across Los Angeles.
The flavors are vivid, including Park’s cleverly named Beets By J, featuring apple, beet and carrot; Spicy Granny with green apple, Fuji apple and ginger; and Banana Bread with raw cashew, filtered water, vanilla bean, banana, honey and sea salt. Green is far from sweet and plays on Park’s Asian-American heritage, adding bok choy, Napa cabbage and Chinese celery to more typical spinach and kale. In keeping with Qunelle’s “elle” ending, you’ll also find Fennelle with fennel, pineapple, orange and mint.
Park has even talked about switching to the savory side of the flavor spectrum, possibly opening a Korean barbecue restaurant. In the meantime, Drink Juice (and eat ice cream).