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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mochilato Irvine

14310 Culver Drive Ste E
Irvine, CA 92604
(949) 559-1116

Opening soon in Fullerton

Mochilato (Mochi+Gelato) is the retail outlet for Mikawaya. If you are not Japanese, there is a good chance that you have no idea who Mikawaya is. For us Japanese people, we know Mikawaya as the Japanese bakery whose confections lined the shelves of all the Japanese stores in the area. From mochi to manju to chi chi dango, Mikawaya has always been the leader when it comes to freshly made Japanese treats.

Mikawaya has been around since 1910, but it wasn't until 1994, when they started selling mochi ice cream in the grocery stores, that people other than the Japanese began to recognize the name.

Mochilato carries almost everything in Mikawaya's product lineup. In addition to mochi ice cream, they also offer several kinds of Japanese pastries including manju and chi chi dango. Other items for sale here include shaved ice with fresh fruit toppings, gelato, Japanese white bread, various pastries and Japanese cookies.

They may have some outrageously large shaved ice treats at Mochilato, but I have never heard good things about them. Therefore, I've never tried them. What I come to Mochilato for is the mochi ice cream. Small, frozen dollops of gelato surrounded by a soft, cushiony layer of sweet pounded rice. Mochilato features 14 different varieties that can be purchased individually for only $1.25 per piece. This is the perfect small dessert when you are nearly full from dinner and just want a small treat. Some of the more popular flavors of mochi ice cream include creme brulee, apricot, cookies and cream and coconut. My favorite is the cookies and cream.
(The mochi ice cream case)

I've also tried the manju here. Manju are Japanese confections of pounded sweet rice filled with various things. My favorite manju is filled with a sweet paste of sugar and lima beans. I know it sounds weird, but it's good. You're just going to have to trust me on that one. Instead of selling manju in multi packs like they do in the Japanese markets, the manju here is sold individually as well. I was told that they are trucked in fresh everyday from Los Angeles where they are made daily. The manju I purchased did not seem that fresh to me though. I guess whenever I want really good fresh manju, I am still going to have to drive up to Gardena....
(The manju case)

(various pastries)

Mochilato on Urbanspoon

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