Sticky Fingers - Irvine
It would seem like a shooting fish in the proverbial barrel to open a candy shop at Woodbridge Village Center, arguably the most kid-friendly of all of Irvine Company's many properties. It boasts a dance studio where aspiring ballerinas practice their pirouettes; a Kumon tutoring office where multiplication tables are memorized; and a music center where the talents of the next Lang Lang are nurtured. There’s even a children’s dentist called Tiny Teeth. But with every yin, there is a yang, and Sticky Fingers is the yang. It sings the siren song of sweets and junk food.
But rather than a temptress in a sea of virtue, I can see it being used by parents as a motivator: "Johnny, be a good boy, and I’ll take you Sticky Fingers."
Sticky Fingers is not a faceless corporate outfit. From what I can tell, it is owned and operated by a middle aged Korean couple, who couldn’t be warmer to you if you were their own children. If you come in with anyone under 12, they’ll coo like a grandparent and coddle your tyke like he/she is part of their extended family.
The store is a cross between Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (did anyone see that movie?) and a neighborhood convenience store. Shelves are stocked with sugary treats of every teeth-rotting persuasion. There’s ice cream, and most popular of all, shave ice packed into a dome on a plastic flower cone and drizzled with up to three syrups of your choosing.
I was pulled in by a poster they put up in front of the Woodbridge theater, which features dollar movies on Tuesdays. It advertised two snow cones for $5: the right price for a hot afternoon treat. The ice isn’t milled as finely as I’ve had at Tropical Shave Ice Truck, but this is a good and honest snow cone all the same. The syrups are never too cloying and if I wanted, I could've asked for red beans and ice cream to be added for a nominal fee, just like they do it in Hawaii.
The best syrup is the coconut, which seems to be homemade from actual coconut milk. It is thick, white, and creamy, almost like it was just squeezed from the freshly grated pulp. The result is a icy-milkshake like amalgam that comforts like milk and cookies and, yes, made me feel like a kid again.
4612 Barranca Pkwy
Irvine, CA 92604
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