Saturday night while hustling over to Nishiki to meet some friends, I noticed a convergence of folk across the street at the now defunct Fuel location. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a pale pink sign sporting the words "Mochii" (with two i's) and in smaller letters, "yogurt" on the corner of 16th and P. My inner hapa perked up at the thought of a Japanese dessert shop and I made a mental note to get the details later on as I was tardy as it was. After a filling dinner, the group of us meandered across the street to investigate. Turns out "Mochii," was having a soft opening. The owner was very welcoming and nice enough to fill us in on the pertinent details (the official grand opening would be in a week) and gave us small glasses of celebratory champagne along with samples of mochi with yogurt. For those who have never had it, mochi is basically a Japanese rice cake made from glutinous rice that's pulverized into a paste and then decoratively colored and shaped. Sometimes wagashi (Japanese confections that indulge all five of the senses - appearance/taste/texture/scent and sound) are filled with ingredients such as an azuki bean paste, fruit or a jelly. Trust me, it tastes a lot better than it sounds.
During our visit, we were offered two types of plain mochi, pink (strawberry) and orange. Both flavors were soft and fresh tasting with just the right amount of chewiness. Since I opted to skip the frozen yogurt (damn lactose intolerance), they were nice enough to give me a big cup of just mochi cubes! Yum! My friends tried both complimentary products and remarked that the frozen yogurt tasted like...well, yogurt...good but nothing remarkable. It also appears that the shop will be offering fresh fruit toppings (purchased from the local Fremont Park farmer's market ... yay, for using local producers!).
The interior was tastefully decorated in soft hues and there was seating both indoors and out. The place is on the small side and I can see crowding being an issue, but it seems like it would be a perfect place to duck into to grab a dessert to nibble on while taking an after dinner stroll through Midtown.
Hopefully, Mochii fares better than its previous predecessor. The location should get some of the foot traffic generated from the Fremont Building eateries, as well as the locals in the grid out wandering about in the balmy weather. It's main hurdle will be whether Sacramentans will be receptive to this new (to Sacramento anyhow) concept.
Seikou wo inorimasu, Mochii! (I wish you success, Mochii)