Hello Harajuku!

On my recent trip to Japan, Harajuku was the top of the list of one of the most fun places I visited. It is internationally the center of Japanese youth culture and fashion and not only was the visit colorful and unique but it was quite a Hello Kitty Foodie adventure as well!

My number one reason for coming to Harajuku was to visit Reissue Cafe! Reissue Cafe is world-famous for their latte art! 💕☕️.  Reissue is home to latte artist, Kohei Matsuno.  He uses foam and chocolate to make the cutest 2D and 3D latte creations ever! My choice of course was Hello Kitty!

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Reissue is located a little off Takeshita Street; the main street in Harajuku that has their famous boutiques. Soon after I visited Reissue, I instantly spotted Eiswelt Gelato! Eiswelt meaning “ice world” in German; had its first store open in Westminster, California in 2016. What makes Eiswelt so special is their character gelato. You can get gelato shaped in cute animals like a teddy, piggy, chicken and bunny! It is only in Japan however that you can get a froggy! I had to get the froggy of course because it was very similar to one of my favorite Sanrio characters, Keroppi! For the froggy gelato, you can choose to either get mint or matcha flavours. I went with matcha; in true Japanese spirit!

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One doesn’t visit Harajuku without trying their famous crepes. Marion Crepes first opened up in 1976 as one of the only crepe shops in Harajuku.

Marion Crepes started their crepe revolution in 1976 as one of the only crepe shops in Harajuku. They serve have Japanese-style crepes that are filled with delicious ingredients. I chose to get their Strawberry and Banana Chocolate Cheesecake Cream Crepe! The crepe itself was so soft. It is made with a secret recipe and is truly mouth-watering.

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Last bu definitely not least;  I visited Pompompurin Cafe! Pompompurin, the Sanrio yellow golden retriever actually has three cafes in Tokyo but the original one is in Takeshita-Dori in Harajuku. The cafe is supercute and filled with bright yellow and brown tones to match PomPomPurin and their menu is filled with Pompompurin inspired dishes and drinks. My choice was the Pompompurin Cafe stew which had a combo of three different stews; carrot stew, squid ink stew and purple sweet potato stew that was topped off with cutest 3D Pompompurin rice 💛!

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Harajuku was definitely a cute and colorful culinary Hello Kitty Foodie adventure! I loved visiting all the various cafes and eating the most kawaii creations ever!

 

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Hello Popbar Torrance!

Back in March 2016, I happily wrote on this blog about  Del Amo Fashion Center’s upcoming new eateries. I’m happy to announce that one of the yummy new hot spots has opened up  just in time for the summer! That spot is no other than Popbar!

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Popbar was first founded in New York in 2010 and has since branched out to not only many places in the United States but all over the world as well with locations in Japan, Indonesia, Canada, Russia and South Korea. Here in California, they have branches in Anaheim, Arcadia, Saratoga and now Torrance.

The popularity of Popbar perhaps lies its simplicity. It’s fun, quick and creative to create your own pop.  Customers start off with choosing your popbar; popGelato, popSorbetto or yogurt pop. Step two is choosing your poppings. Choices for poppings include almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, caramel corn, coconut, chocolate sprinkles and crushed waffle cone. The third step is to choose your chocolate dippings. You can get a full dip, half dip or drizzle of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, mint dark chocolate or caramel dark chocolate. With three simple steps….tada…out pops up a delicious cool treat!

There are 40 flavors always in rotation at Popbar and all of their ingredients are all natural, with no preservatives, artificial flavors or colors.  The bars are all gluten-free and the sorbetto is vegan friendly. All the popbars are made fresh daily.  I found myself simply delighted with the variety of different popbars that I saw. There was banana, dulce de leche, almond, vanilla, coconut, mango, kiwi and so much more.

For my popbar, I chose to get an almond popGelato with a full dip of white chocolate, topped with almonds, crushed waffle cone and hazelnuts and drizzled with dark chocolate. My friend that was with me chose to get a dulce de leche popGelato with a half dip of dark chocolate, a half dip of white chocolate and topping of almonds and hazelnut. The results were two sweet and yummy treats!

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I really enjoyed my popbar. The almond popGelato had a sweet, creamy texture and the toppings of crushed waffle cone and hazelnuts gave it nice, crisp crunch exterior! It was simple happiness on a stick and a perfect treat for the hot summer day.  I am now a certified popaholic.

Popbar is a great addition to Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance. With temperatures creeping up this summer, it’s nice to have a place to enjoy a cool treat with friends.

I am not surprised Popbar will also be popping up new locations soon in Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Rowland Heights and more. There are endless delicious combinations you can make here at Popbar. Full dip, half dip, drizzle. Nuts or not nuts. Sorbetto or Gelato. Any way you pop, you are sure to smile.

For more smiles, please check out my recent Yelp review on Popbar.