Written by Jenna Marvet
California Mochi in Mountain View is a small shop that offers three categories of mochi: classic, ice cream and fresh fruit-filled. When I visited after school, the shop was quiet and tidy. It resembles an ice cream store, with one freezer display for the ice cream and another for the unfrozen treats. While the ambiance seemed relatively good, there was only one table with two benches in the store.
I decided to try a white bean mochi, two ice cream mochis and a fresh pineapple-filled mochi. Unfortunately, it seemed that the time of day we had arrived, the store was not fully stocked. While the ice cream stock seemed complete, many of the classic flavors were missing, like red bean. The white bean mochi was tasty, but a bit bland. The ice cream mochi was delicious and refreshing. The ice cream was the best deal as well, coming in at $4.30 for two mochis of your choice. I decided on one passion fruit and one vanilla chocolate chip. The passion fruit stood out—tasted fresh and fruity and was not heavy. While they were smaller than the room temperature desserts, one was enough for me and I was able to share the second with a friend.
I was most excited to try the fresh fruit mochi, which seemed like a healthier dessert option than the other offerings and was unique to California Mochi. I chose the pineapple mochi, which included fresh pineapple, sweet chocolate and a white bean mix. However, the pineapple-filled mochi was just too messy to be delicious. The large piece of stringy pineapple made it hard to take a clean bite and juice from the fruit moistened the rice our casing, making it unappetizing. While both mochi and fresh fruit are delicious on their own, the combination did not work for me.
Overall, California Mochi offers some yummy choices while not breaking the bank. Their desserts are fresh and are a good alternative to heavier, sweeter and generally less healthy treats. Their ice cream selection is particularly delicious, and their classic flavors do the job when you’re craving a particular mochi. The problem is that their more unique offering and claim to fame, fresh fruit filled mochi, does not meet expectations.