Founded by the Hashimoto family in 1910, the homegrown L.A. company recently moved into a state-of-the-art, 103,000-square-foot factory near downtown, where they will continue making all manner of sticky rice treats.
Mikawaya's flagship store (named after a Japanese province) located in Little Tokyo offers dozens of inventive, brightly colored mochigashi.
These include popular green, white and pink-striped suama (plain, sweet mochi) and chofu (plain, sweet mochi wrapped in a thin layer of sponge cake).
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For more adventurous mochi connoisseurs there's yomogi daifuku, a mugwort-infused ball of green mochi filled with red bean paste; chi chi dango, miniature mochi pellets that come in eight brightly colored varieties; and hiyoko, a baby chick-shaped pastry filled with sweet lima bean paste.
As for Mikawaya's famous mochi-wrapped ice cream balls, they come in seven flavors: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, mango, green tea, coffee and red bean. More recently, Frances Hashimoto and her husband Joel Friedman have added eight varieties of mochi-wrapped gelato including toasted almond, raspberry cream, hazelnut and mint chip. Oishii!