Japanese-style ice cream/frozen yogurt
My brother recently returned from a trip to Japan and besides raving about the amazing toilets they have, he says he misses the ice cream/frozen yogurt he had there. From his descriptions he said the taste is different than any ice cream he's had before, the consistency is along the lines of frozen yogurt or custard, and has a glossy type look to it.
Anyone know of a place in LA or OC that serves this?
In Little Tokyo there is Mikawaya which has Japanese-style gelato -- it's pretty good, not too sweet and not as dense as most gelato. I don't know if it's what he's looking for, but worth a try. They also make their own mochi ice cream balls which can be had fresh there.
118 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Mitsuwa's food court on Centinela in Mar Vista has been going through a rennovation process that includes the addition of a coffee/pastrie/soft serve ice cream counter that also serves as the cash register for the adjacent bookstore.
The soft serve ice cream machine appears to serve one flavor - green tea. As far as whether it is what your brother is looking for, I couldn't say. But it is somewhat rich in the direction of a custard, and the green tea is no joke. If you've had Pinkberry's green tea flavored froyo, your taste buds tell you, "yeah, that has green tea flavoring...yeah..." After a few more slurps, the green tea flavor fades away into "chilly bliss."
The soft serve at Mitsuwa however is a totally different animal - not for the timid. As you see the soft serve pour into the black serving bowl, it is a concentrated green - much like the green that one sees when opening the lid to your canister of powdered maccha. When tasting the soft serve, your eyes don't betray your tastebuds or your nose, as the green tea flavor is quite intense, only tempered by the dairy aspect of what you're eating. In this case, your tastebuds tell you, "Su-goi-yo! Kore wa maccha da-ne!!! (Wow - now that's maccha!!!)"
You can order it neat - $3.50 - but I wouldn't reccomend it. The first few slurps are just your introduction to what is in store for the remainder of your slurping - green tea flexing its will upon your senses. I feel you really need the additional azuki and mochi (an additional .50 each) to temper the green tea beast. In fact, the next time I'm there, I'm offering them a preemptory, "uncle," and requesting they add vanilla to their soft serve machine. However, I think our beloved green tea addict and Chowhounder, Liu, will find the flavor to be just right.
Thank you Chowpatty and bulavinaka for your recommendations, my brother and I will have to try these two places out.
Mikawaya sounds like it might be what he's looking for. I'll report back when we try it.
Mitsuwa's green tea soft serve sounds so interesting I just have to try it. Bulavinaka, love the description of the green tea flavor!