Anyone who follows my blog knows I love Hello Kitty. After the HK Convention in Los Angeles back in 2014, I heard a café was going to open in Orange County, California. It’s been open at the Irvine Spectrum for about a couple of years.
For years I have driven on the 5 and saw the lit up Ferris wheel. Turns out that is the same courtyard where the Hello Kitty Grand Café is. There are tons of beautifully decorated, upscale restaurants in the outdoor shopping mall. Many are very inviting with oversized plush seating. Brio, an Italian restaurant, has a glassed in patio with wicker furniture and right next to free parking. This mall seems too fancy for free parking. You can drive up to the valet. I feet like I am on a mini UCSD university campus. There is also a Dim Sum restaurant. It’s mostly seafood. I doubt there is anything vegan. There is a new Japanese restaurant called Robata Wasa that is glassed in and looks like a bank, but we head to Kabuki. Kabuki’s service is slow because a waiter didn’t show. The Green Roll with kale sauce is good.
After the meal we head to The Hello Kitty Café since it only has dessert. I order iced tea. It is so hot outside at 85 degrees, which makes for crabby people. A guy maybe twenty-eight years old in striped red shorts and hairy legs with flashy sunglasses whisked in with some beautiful gal his age—probably his sister. He keeps whining about not wanting to sit down or something. She ignores him and orders. When she sit down to eat her tiny blueberry pie and tea, he is gone. Goodbye cranky Richard Simmons.
The store is tiny and cute like you would expect anything Hello Kitty. There is a big Hello Kitty kinda like a Bob’s Big Boy statue. Then there is a window where you can watch a guy make tiny donuts. They roll them in sprinkles, crushed cookies, or cinnamon and sugar. On the corner are some shelves with mugs, T-shirts, tote bags, and pillows. I refrained from buying anything. Behind the glass are all the baked goods. There are tons of butter cookies of the friendly kitty’s face, the donuts in a cute cup, tiny cakes, and pies. You can get a mini, sprinkles birthday cake with a red bow. Personally, I’d never eat any of the food. But the tea is good and it’s in a to go cup with Kitty’s face, which I’ll keep.
I’m not the only one taking photos. People pan their cell phones inside the pretty café and at the food.
I wish I had stopped at the Spectrum sooner. It’s right off Alton Parkway next to the 5 freeway. Also it’s super close to the Musical Theatre Village where I saw the Music Man this summer. You could go out to eat at the Spectrum then go see live theatre over the bridge to Mauchly road.
Hello Kitty Café • 670 Spectrum Center Dr. • Irvine • CA • 92618