ok..so.. not so much snacking, more like pigging out (I'm really full right now).
Malasadas. I LOVE the ones from Leonard's in Hawaii. I dream about them. So when I figured out that King's made them and that the Local Place had it on the weekends..off to Torrance I went. This place was packed. Is this a place I should try next time for a meal? Back to the malasadas...the woman in front of me ordered a dozen pumpkin muffins so of course I had to get one too. Turns out she was one of the taiko performers at Mitsuwa...more on that later. The malasadas are not like Leonard's (warm, billowy, and perfectly shaped) but a very good substitute. The only substitute as far as I know. Not overly sweet and nice texture with a tiny bit of firmness. Eat sooner rather than later..if you wait too long the sugar that is sprinkled on it will dissolve and it becomes a tiny bit wet. Oh...and yeah...eat it outside of the car. Sugar everywhere. The pumpkin muffin was also a nice treat. Not too sweet, not too cinnamon-y, not too dense. Very moist. A definite keeper. Any other goodies I should try on my next visit?
Next I headed over to Mitsuwa to see what they had to offer and was actually planning on having a quick lunch at Mitsuwa but decided not to as most of the places had a rating of C and the other places that didn't wasn't what I was really wanting. I've just recently moved to California and was pleasatnly surprised to learn that LA county has a rating system for places that serve food. How seriously should I take these ratings because, man, I really wanted that tonkatsu!! Well, ended up checking out the taiko show which happened to be going on and hey! there is the pumpkin muffin lady drumming away! Thanks for the inadvertent recommendation pumpkin muffin taiko lady!
Now onto Famima!! That is how their sign is..with 2 exclamation points. Cute. Anyway, swung by the Torrance location as I remembered they were having a grand opening soiree going on this weekend. Parking was not the greatest as it shares the lot with a bowling alley, fitness gym, and a few other stores but it might just be because of the grand opening stuff. I walked in and was told to turn the little ferris wheel looking box. Out came a colored ball...I won a bottle of gum. Yes, it came in a bottle...like Excedrin. Lime mint flavor. The person behind me won a little packet of tissue. Everyone is a winner. Did a quick walk around the store. Numerous types of sandwiches, obento, soups, fried snacks, onigiri (you get the nori from the cashier), steamed buns, pastries, sushi, drinks and other typical japanese-y convenience store type items. Very roomy and modern. A sweet catches my eye...a chocolate dipped banana nestled in a small pancake with whip cream. There was a sign which explained that it is a signature item. I pass on it..but I'm still thinking about it so I'll have to go back sometime and snatch it up.
They were having a free sushi demonstration so I headed that way. The sushi chef was taking orders at a counter so I asked for maguro and ebi. I started chatting the chef up. More maguro and ebi. Then tekka maki. Then a girl came by with hot green tea samples. Then hamachi and unagi. Now chatting and laughing with the chef and other customers. Hmmm...wish there were samples of sake. I think it's the most fun I've had in a convenience store. I read somewhere that Sushi Boy provides their sushi. I've never been to Sushi Boy and can't say whether it's good or not compared to it's restaraunts. Not bad as far as convenience store food goes. The salmon roll (5.50) which I picked up had celery and lettuce rolled in it as well. Never had celery in a roll before, but it wasn't a bad thing. The warm chicken curry bread (on special for 1.50) was tasty. I took a bite of it as soon as I paid for it since I knew it would get soggy the longer I let it sit. A slight crisp to the outside and a mild curry on the inside. A nice curry to bread ratio. As with deep fried anything it's going to leave your fingers shiny with a tad of grease. There were also what looked to be like deep fried ravioli..which they call 'crustini'. Might be trying it next time. The chicken and mozzarella panini was 5.75 and came on slightly chewy ciabbatta bread. You can ask to have any sandwich warmed or pressed. I had mine pressed in the panini grill. It had moist chicken, thin slices of mozz (not the fresh, buffalo kind), red, green and yellow peppers, a little chopped tomatoes and what tasted to be like a hint of mayo and ...butter?? I'm not sure as the cashier threw away the wrapper when he pressed my sandwich and then rewrapped it in logo paper. It was not the greatest but I'm not a big fan of peppers. I'm sure I'll end up trying a few other sandwiches as there was a big variety. The obentos looked all right...but were a bit more than what you might pay at Mitsuwa. I think Mitsuwa's obentos looks a bit more pleasing with more variety. I'm not sure if all the Famima's are the same as I *think* I remember someone saying on here that the one in Santa Monica didn't have onigiri. Can someone confirm? I actually live closer to the one in SM. All in all, it was a fun stop and if you are near one definitely check it out. It's a good way to try new and/or different things on the cheap.
The Local Place
18606 S Western Ave
22529 Hawthorne Blvd