In a completely pink room, a glowing Hello Kitty silhouette loomed over a white bar. Lights slowly dimmed and dance music shifted the vibe from serene catwalk to attractive nightspot. “Club Kitty!” shouted Los Angeles jewellery designer Onch, whose shopper record consists of Kate Moss, Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj and Sanrio. “I’m ready to get so boozed up and kick it!”
Sporting a necklace of Sanrio characters that performed towards his pink T-shirt, striped socks and Hello Kitty kicks, he was relishing a sneak preview of the Hello Kitty Grand Cafe Sanrio at the Irvine Spectrum Middle on Thursday, Sept. 13. Friends have been handled to a demonstration of how the Bow Room transforms from afternoon tea home into nighttime bar.
Isn’t it bizarre? Perhaps even somewhat kinky to knock again cocktails in a spot themed for an Eight-year-old girly animated character? “No,” stated Onch. “I think she’s growing up with her fans,” he stated. In his opinion, Sanrio did Hello Kitty justice with this luxe expertise, even when the room is painted pink. “Walking in, it feels like a warm hug,” he stated.
The character’s fan base is large. An announcement on the opening from the Irvine Spectrum Middle acquired extra net hits than any it’s revealed earlier than. “It’s the most Instagram-mable place I’ve ever been,” stated one social media maven.
The idea began as a pop-up restaurant however now has a stunning permanent residence. It opens Friday, Sept. 14 and is already booked by way of mid-October. So when you’re curious and may’t wait, peer via the keyhole into the Bow Room. We’ll offer you a style of what it’s wish to take tea there.
Background: It’s the first and solely permanent cafe in the U.S. A 700-square-foot plus kitchen quick informal cafe with seating for 12 shall be the place to order espresso and sweets from a grab-and-go menu: Espresso and blended drinks, mini doughnuts ($6) and Sanrio character mini muffins ($15). Hello Kitty merchandise will probably be bought. The Bow Room, a separate, 600-foot area with 28 seats is on the market solely by reservation Wednesday by way of Sunday.
Deep background: This cat prowls with no chef, however a culinary workforce seems all the goodies. Proprietors Urania Chien and Alan Tea (he’s a meals business man with Capital Seafood and its noodle bars) have employed veteran mixologist Emily Delicce. She’s labored at almost each prime craft cocktail bar in Orange County: Social Costa Mesa, 320 Foremost, Broadway by Amar Santana and Boathouse Collective to call a couple of.
The look: The cafe has a neon signal that flashes “Hot Donuts” and an enormous Hello Kitty determine in entrance that’s good for taking selfies. When you’ve reserved in the Bow Room you will need to use the huge brass bow knocker to be let in. As soon as inside you’ll be seated on pink cotton velvet banquettes amid toss pillows in pink and gold bearing photographs of Hello Kitty and cupcakes. It’s properly appointed with a coffered ceiling, pink partitions with Hello Kitty stencillling, and quartz flooring and tabletops with Carrera marble finishes. The restroom has a Hello Kitty formed mirror, a Hello signal and rose gold fixtures.
What to put on: Don’t go sloppy since you may really feel silly. Gown for tea or cocktails as for those who’re headed to a luxurious lodge. It’s that posh.
Tea service ($55 per individual): Alternatives for tea geeks embrace entire leaf assam, white tip jasmine, oolong, sencha and Japanese cherry. There are caffeine-free decisions, fruit flavored teas, a Birthday Mix and Earl Gray. Service begins with recent strawberries coated with cream and dusted with pink sugar in a Hello Kitty design. Then a three-tiered tea tray formed like Hello Kitty arrives. Amongst the savories, the smoked salmon in pretzel croissant with recent dill and cream cheese was buttery and satisfying. Egg salad in a miniature sugar cone was simply odd.
The kitty pictures have been all over the place on an open-faced sandwich with carpaccio-thin slices of cucumber and maybe even on the tiny pesto tart garnished with chives tied into what appeared like cat ears, do they actually go that far? Drop scones didn’t impress, and no clotted cream right here, however the mini cupcake and chocolate chocolate cake have been feathery and delectable, served at the correct temperature so their flavors blossomed.
The Hello Kitty Mini Cake, an almond flour petit 4, cloaked in white chocolate, is heart-stopping each for its decadent richness and its picture-perfect Kitty picture. All savories and desserts have been beautiful in presentation with many professional touches reminiscent of ornamental rolled fondant bows, leaves and stems. Charming teapots and china bear the namesake branding.
Cocktails: They’re all Instagram-worthy and extremely refined, priced from $14-$21. Pink Bow is a martini with gin, raspberry, lemon, liquor 43 and makes use of aquafaba — quite than smelly, non-vegan egg white — to create a foamy prime. Pleased Collectively modifications colour to lavender when apricot lemonade is added to blue butterfly pea flower infused vodka. It’s garnished with yellow solar daisies for a sprightly final touch. There may even be a wine record ($10-$63) that may embrace Hello Kitty wines.
Who it’s for: All ages for tea, reservations can solely be made for events of even numbers: 2, Four, 6, and so on. Youngsters three and youthful are welcome however won’t have their very own place setting and not using a reservation that features them. Cocktail occasions are for the over-21 set.
Hello Kitty Grand Café Sanrio
Discover it: 860 Irvine Middle Drive, close to the Big Wheel Courtroom in the Irvine Spectrum Middle, sanrio.com/pages/hellokittycafe-grand. Cafe hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday.
Bow Room’s reservation hours: Afternoon Tea Service 11 a.m.-Four p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 10 a.m.–Four p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Cocktails 5-9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday; 5-11 p.m. Friday, Saturday.