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

Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty Fanatic
Hello Kitty Fanatic by Junko Mizuno, 2014, Acrylic on Canvas. Photo by M.C.

Surprisingly, with all this Hello Kitty talk I have not lost all my male followers on Twitter. I have gained a few. I’m not sure what that says about the men.

If you missed the Hello Kitty Convention 2014 there is still plenty of kitty to see.

Hello Kitty takes over half or more of The Japanese American National Museum with a retrospective called Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty. Many artists have created contemporary artworks for this exhibit. On the first floor there are many Hello Kitty items from the archives. Obtain tickets in advance now for the exhibit through Dec. 31, 2014. Tickets for Jan. 2 – Apr. 26, 2015 go on sale Nov. 24, 2014 at JANM.

At the entrance of the archives there is a ten foot sculpture of a cube kitty. Look through the glass wall it stands by and you will see Chado Tea Room which is inside the museum. Through May 31, 2014 Chado Tea Room will celebrate Hello Kitty’s 40th Anniversary with special tea blends, food and high tea service. www.chadotea.com.

Hello Kitty Cafe is supposed to open next summer in Orange County. I don’t know where, but I am willing to bet it is going to be in Irvine. The truck will be at the Irvine Spectrum on Nov. 29th. Again, little information is given. Check out Hello Kitty’s Instagram to find the truck.  I believe the cafe is a bakery. I saw donuts at HKCon and the truck had pink and white cute morsels in boxes. Like I said before, it didn’t look edible.

Hello Kitty’s Supercute Friendship Festival is an interactive musical and lifestyle event for friends of all ages. The venues chosen for SoCal are maybe not the best especially for the price. The VIP Platinum Package is $291 and the Red Bow Package is $152. I hope this event goes smoother than the convention. The tour begins May 2015. HKFestival

You might say, “I don’t get Hello Kitty?” Hello Kitty is art. It’s like what Speed Racer is to you what Hello Kitty is to me. It’s pop culture we grew with created by an artist. If you aren’t into Hello Kitty at least go to the Japanese American National Museum. There is more than Hello Kitty there. The other half is dedicated to Japanese Americans and what they have done for America.

Happy 40th Anniversary Hello Kitty!

Copyright 2014 Melissa Crismon