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When I was a kid, my room was littered with Hello Kitty-themed trinkets: stuffed animals, hair clips, purses and even a CD player that doubled as a karaoke machine. Although over the years stuffed animals and purses have been traded in for shoes and T-shirts, my love for Hello Kitty persists.
And for young-at-heart clients like me, Hello Kitty Grand Cafe is a warmly welcomed flash from the past. Located at the Irvine Spectrum Center in Irvine, Calif., Hello Kitty Grand Cafe is the first of its kind, offering casual cafe-style dining and reservation-only afternoon tea or evening cocktails in The Bow Room.
As for my family and I, we opted to try out the casual cafe. But upon arrival, we knew we had made a mistake: On a Saturday evening two weeks after the cafe’s opening, there was a long line of people — winding past three stores and almost rounding the corner. (The host assured me that the line is much shorter on weekdays.)
After about an hour wait, we approached the entrance, and our picture-taking frenzy began. A few snapshot highlights included a life-size Hello Kitty figurine, a hot donuts station and eye-catching wall art. But the real treat, of course, was arriving at the counter and ordering our goodies. Our group settled on a rainbow set of macarons and strawberry cake to share, paired with rose-water iced teas and iced lattes.
And, I must admit, just one bite into my soft-centered strawberry macaron, I was thoroughly sold on Hello Kitty Grand Cafe.
The Details Irvine Spectrum Centerwww.irvinespectrumcenter.com