Browsing through Yelp to find a dessert to end the night, my family and I stumbled upon Mr. Obanyaki. This hole-in-the-wall cafe serves freshly cooked Japanese obanyaki cakes, or “wheel cakes.”
Entering the store, I noticed the sweet smell of the cakes wafting in the air. The overall design of the shop was minimalistic with plain white walls. My eyes were drawn to the wall with a large graphic of their logo, an “O” with a neck bow tie.
Walking up to the counter, I could see the large circular pans they were using to create the wheel cakes. I was fascinated by the process of pouring the batter and scooping filling into the pan’s molds. Being able to see the cooking process in front of me assured that anything I ordered would be as fresh as possible.
The large, colorful menu above the counter made it easy to see the plentiful variety of flavors they had to offer. They had familiar flavors like red bean and more adventurous flavors like mac n’ cheese. Next to the flavors, I saw that you could also order your wheel cake with a scoop of ice cream from Fosselman’s, a local ice cream parlor. I decided it was a great deal and ordered a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a wheel cake filled with custard.
When I finished ordering, I saw one of the employees pick up one of the custard-filled wheel cakes from the crackling pan and scoop a serving of vanilla ice cream. I thought that the presentation of the ice cream was unique because the spoon provided with the ice cream was a small plastic shovel, a thoughtful detail that made eating the ice cream a little more enjoyable. However, the wheel cake was what stood out from my order. I bit into the perfectly crisp crust of the wheel cake and got a taste of the warmed sweet custard from inside. The crust, admittedly, was rather bland, but it ended up being a blessing in disguise by allowing the custard’s smooth, rich taste to shine through.
All in all, Mr. Obanyaki offers a unique experience for anyone looking for a small dessert in Monterey Park. The wheel cakes served there come in an exotic array of unusual flavors that allows customers to experiment with their palates. Being able to see the process of how each wheel cake is made is a great way to pass the time and guarantees that your order is fresh.
Mr. Obanyaki is located on 2085 S Atlantic Blvd Suite J in Monterey Park. They are open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays through Sundays.