When we visit our friends—especially those who have new babies—one of my favorite things to do is bring a box of treats for the new parents. And since we've had a ton of friends having babies over the past year ('tis the season!), I've been looking for something to bring other than my standard cupcakes or pies. So I took a little trip to L.A.'s Little Toyko in search of some treats for friends, as well as some for future sweet cravings of my very own.
My first stop was Fugetsu-do, a family-owned staple of Little Tokyo since 1903 that specializes in the freshest mochi (rice cakes) and manju (sweet bean-filled rice cakes). In addition to the beautiful mochi and manju, Fugetsu-do has packaged and boxed candies and crackers that I stocked up on for last-minute gift and snacking needs. (And they're up with the times and offer shipping across the country and sell online!)
For the best ice cream mochi (rice cakes filled with ice cream), Mikawaya (located in Japanese Village Plaza) was my next stop. Mikawaya has a ton of regular mochi options, but specializes in the ice-cream-filled variety. So while these might not be things I can take over to a friend's house, they are a nice treat to have while you're in the area shopping. The green tea, cookies and cream, and plum ice cream mochi were my favorites.
While in the Japanese Village Plaza, I stumbled upon Café Dulcé. I'd heard great things about the green tea doughnuts, and I loved the variety of doughnut and pastry selections available—it's simply a great Japanese version of your favorite local bakery. I especially loved the tapioca roll and, of course, the green tea doughnut.
Once all was said and done, I gathered together my finds from all three places to put together a little box of treats for friends. It was such a fun morning of exploring what Little Tokyo has to offer and experiencing a bit of Japan right here in Los Angeles...
Fugetsu-do | 315 East First St. | Los Angeles, CA 90012 | 213.625.8595