As the worn-out phrase goes, don’t judge a book by its cover, and in the case of a popular Hilo mochi shop, it’s what is waiting inside that’ll really get your taste buds salivating.

Two Ladies Kitchen is located inside of a gray tin-roof building, next to a physical therapy office. Not your typical tourist attraction by any means but rather, a hole-in-the-wall that locals love. Why? For the mochi madness that awaits through the creaky screen door.

Possibly some of the tastiest pieces of mochi I’ve ever eaten; that – coming from someone who obsesses over the sweet-rice treat – is the savory truth. You can tell a lot of love goes into each freshly-pounded piece, too. Because even with the melt-in-your-mouth decadence, the mochi is almost too pretty to eat!

From the pounding to the presentation, precision and effort are put into the entire process. Neat rows of plastic take-out containers wrapped with colorful bows line the table next to the cashier. Inside of those trays, however, is a rainbow of flavors. The tsunami mochi looks similar to frothy beach glass, while the peach mochi mimics the furry fruit in color and shape.

But probably the most popular mochi on the list would have to be the legendary fresh strawberry mochi. Just like the ones at Made in Hawaii on Oahu, they take the sweetest local strawberries and wrap them in soft tsubushi-an. A half-healthy, half-hearty sweet treat; these buggers are plumped with goodness!

Like most small businesses, Two Ladies has limited hours, so call ahead of time to make sure they’re open. In fact, you should probably call in advance to place an order since they tend to run out of popular flavors. Your taste buds will thank us later!

Photos Courtesy (last two): Makana Kane

TWO LADIES KITCHEN

• 274 Kilauea Ave., Hilo, HI 96720 • Opens Tues-Sat 10am to 5pm • 808-961-4766

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