Mochilato - Irvine
What is it? It's everything. The proverbial "kitchen sink" of desserts. A shaved ice mound topped with one too many toppings. Make that three too many. I had it at Mochilato -- the newest Asian dessert joint to recently open in Irvine -- and I wanted to like it, but I just couldn't.
It's not that the components by themselves weren't any good. They were. The mochi nuggets were chewy, sweet, like edible wax and bubble gum. The strawberries were perky, the kiwi fresh, and the mango tart. But then there were red beans ...and bananas ...and green tea powder ...and vanilla frozen yogurt ...and sweetened condensed milk ...and rose syrup ...and on and on.
The sum of its parts equaled a convoluted, sickening mish-mash of good things, which together, become bad, like Warren Beatty and Dustin Hofmann in Ishtar or Spielberg and Kubrick with A.I.
The shop called it the "Mochilato Way" ($5.95). I just called it "Blech!"
But I am being a bit hard on Mochilato. They do, in fact, offer more restrained and sane choices of shaved ice toppings. That is to say: Not all of them together in the same bowl.
So if there's anyone to blame, it was me for ordering it. I was the one who got greedy.
I was, however, better at choosing the products they were known for: Mochi ice cream, or more precisely;
Since this was the retail outlet of Mikawaya -- the company who puts out those mochi ice cream boxes you see in the freezer section of Asian grocery stores -- I wasn't expecting less than perfection.
And they were perfect.
Even better: The boutique sells more flavors than what is commercially available, arranged like truffles at a chocolate shop. There's one to tempt every sweet tooth, from hazelnut, to mango, to peaches 'n cream, to green tea. And the names, of course, are cute as buttons.
The strawberry mochi I tried was dubbed "Pinky" ($1.25), and the fruit's flavor was present in the thin, glutinous rice casing as well as its gelato center. The green tea was just as refreshing and the stretchy pull of the mochi, just right.
But the best part about eating them was that there was no stick, no cone, no bowl. Nothing more than just a layer of dough between you and the ice cream.
Mochilato also offers pastries, gelato in its pure form, coffee, tea, and even frozen yogurt (the tart kind a-la-Yogurtland and Pinkberry). It's a one-stop-dessert-shop. Just know, before going in there, what should and shouldn't be eaten together.
14310 Culver Drive Ste E
Irvine, CA 92604