Little Tokyo Market Place and Mikawaya

Even though I like eating out (especially food trucks), I also like to do some of my cooking at home. In line with this, I go for grocery shopping every Sunday.

Honestly speaking, grocery shopping was not an activity I particularly enjoyed. I especially hated the fact that finding the ingredients I love at affordable prices was such a hassle.

That was until I discovered Little Tokyo Market on Alameda Street in downtown LA. Initially, the place was known as the Mitsuwa place (a Japanese themed market). Sometime last year, however, H-Mart, the Korean supermarket took over space subsequently renaming it Little Tokyo Market and maintaining the Japanese theme.

Vendors in the market include Korean vendors, Chinese vendors and of course Japanese vendors. However, American products are also sold in the market.

I like grocery shopping at Little Tokyo for three major reasons. First and foremost, it is clean, orderly and not crowded (at least not on Sundays). In addition to that, street parking is free on Sundays meaning I do not have the added task of driving around looking for parking.

Little Tokyo Market Place

Secondly, Little Tokyo Market Place meets most of my shopping needs (especially regarding groceries and food stuff). It has a produce section which is a paradise of fruits, vegetables and a variety of Asian produce such as Korean pears.

Little Tokyo Market

It also has a section dedicated to organic products. I love that it has an aisle full of different ramen brands – this is one of my favorite sections of the market. Other interesting sections include;

  • A bento to-go section
  • A mini Hawaiian food section
  • A sushi section.
  • Japanese and Korean side-dish section.

The market also has a food court that serves surprisingly delicious teriyaki chicken, ramen, and even manapua. The food court is the reason I come grocery shopping just before lunch hour. Other eateries within the market include;

  • Honda-ya
  • Hama Ichinome
  • Go Sushi 55

People can also shop for non-food items such as car fresheners, household items (including dishware), books, cosmetic products and even clothes.

The third reason I continue shopping at Little Tokyo Market is that I get to sample ice creams from Mikawaya which is just next door to Little Tokyo.

Mikawaya mochi ice cream

For those who do not know, Mikawaya started over a hundred years ago in 1910 and specialized in Japanese themed pastries and desserts. I come here especially for the huge selection of gelato and Mikawaya mochi ice cream.

Mochi ice cream is a sweet and fulfilling treat made from a secret recipe of Mochi dough and filled with ice-cream. The recipes used for the mocha ice cream date back three generations I simply love how beautiful and colorful their Mochi designs are.

Mikawaya Ice Creams

What I love most, however, is the fact that they come in so many different flavors; way more choices than any of those offered at most other stores.

I have already sampled out some Mochi ice cream flavors such as the almond, strawberry and even the green tea and chocolate mochi.

This last time, I had the red bean ice cream mochi which I fell in love with because of how fresh, cool and satisfying it was. However, the mochi is sometimes a tad bit too chewy, and it is for this very reason that I still think Bubbie’s in Hawaii makes better mochi ice creams.

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