118 Japanese Village Plaza Mall
Los Angeles, CA 90012
A couple weeks back, after a beautiful lunch at Hama Sushi, we strolled through Japan Village Plaza in seek of sweets. Mikawaya is perfectly located for buying one of many quick sweets to eat while sunning yourself in the square.
The main draw to Mikawaya is excellent mochi. Mochi, a Japanese dessert, are made from glutenous rice pounded into a paste then molded into shapes. When I think of mochi, and this may be very hakujin of me, I think of the paste wrapped around ice cream. In Japan this is also called yukimi daifuku. Daifuku is simply the slightly sweet paste wrapped around a sweeter filling, such as red bean paste or crushed melon paste. Yukimi daifuku means "snow-viewing daifuku", or mochi wrapped around ice cream and kept frozen. "Snow-viewing daifuku" is such a poetic way to specify.
Mikiwaya is known for their mochi. They get lots of rave reviews (and some pans) on Yelp. I am simply super happy I have someplace, anyplace, to buy mochi near my house.
In order, Mikawaya serves mochi, in order from left to right: vanilla, strawberry, can't remember what the yellow one was, azuki (red bean paste), green tea and chocolate.
This is a store for people with a sweet tooth. Everyone can find a treat here. The long fridge of gelatos and sorbettos is beautiful.
With a mouth watering array of fresh sounding flavors, Baskin-Robbins this is not. Not that I have anything against BR, I just love flavors that sound more exotic to my American ears.
White peach and pistachio together in one bowl sounds drool worthy this morning.
I would eat matcha green tea or raspberry separately. I love green tea ice cream...it has a certain almost lack of sweetness, so slight while that green tea flavor that sits in the back of your mouth.
Another kind of mochi. This is mochi made with yomogi, or mugwort. Daifuku mochi made with mugwort is called yomogi daifuku. So pretty.
The Mikawaya website explains that another kind of mochi, pink gyuhi, "has a mochi type outside and and a sweetened, smooth, white bean paste inside. It is designed into different shapes to symbolize the different seasons".
The mochi we ate that day were delicious. We both shared a chocolate and I ate a green tea. It was not as gobstoppingly amazing as the mochi we ate in Tokyo, but it was the perfect taste at the perfect moment after a perfect lunch.