Hello Kitty Cafe

Hello Kitty at Cafe Cropped
You Can Never Have Too Many Friends. ~Hello Kitty

Hello!

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.

Hello Kitty Cafe Irvine
Hello Kitty Cafe. Photo by M.C.

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.

Hello Kitty Cafe Donuts
Hello Kitty Donuts Neon Lighting. Photo by M.C.

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

Vegan Faire

Vegan Faire 1 July 2017Healthy Junk Vegan Faire in Anaheim, CA. Photo by M.C.

In July 2017, Anaheim hosted the glorious Fourth Annual Healthy Junk Vegan Faire. Fresh flower scents waft through the air from natural product vendors on the palm-tree lined street.

This is not the movement of the old, shirtless tan hippie who eats sunflower seeds and smells like he hasn’t bathed in a week. The new hippie is a millennial with washed hair, some tattoos, some conservatively dressed, and many beautiful women with trendy makeup.

The crowd is intent on eating. The line to the Mexican food must be an hour wait at least. The beer garden still has room to spare, but it is early. Fresh pineapple ginger juice is a refresher while waiting in line for Veganation’s faux fried chicken and fries. Honestly, I can’t finish the dish because I’m not used to fried food.

Next year, instead of eating, I’m headed toward the makeup and natural skin care products. The smells are like being in the Garden of Eden. Other vendors sell toothpaste, quality pleather purses, jewelry, cute clothes, and cool T-shirts, and some art. Of course, you will see the animal rights organizations for the whales and dolphins. Sea Shepherd’s Los Angeles Chapter represent.

From the stage, there are music and fun activities like hula hooping to get the crowd going. Children draw on walls of chalkboard and adults take selfies next to the rainbow of words on the black backdrop.

A couple of odd things are Tesla with its white leather seating. In the photo, you can see one of their cars on display. But apparently Tesla offers textile seating. It must have been pleather. Then we waited in line for Indian food. It is so crowded everyone has to ask what line they are in. As we get closer to the vendor we see chicken on the menu. Maybe it’s faux? So we switch to Veganation who clearly advertise their food as plant-based.

You don’t have to be a vegan to enjoy the faire. Hopefully, we will all become aware of the torture and pain of animals and how we can have compassion through these events.

I think the Vegan Faire is going to get busier every year because it is so well organized, and there is something for everyone. Park at the free parking complex near City Hall to avoid the line of cars headed to the paid parking. Hope to see you next summer or find a vegan festival near you.

Vegan Faire, 201 W. Center St. Promenade, Anaheim, CA 92805

Copyright 2017 Melissa Crismon