Redondo Beach’s gluten-free veteran Kirari West Bake Shop is venturing into new territory this week. Confections by Kirari is a specialized cookie shop, only a 300-foot walk away from its sister cafe, and dedicated entirely to cookies, coffee, and cookie sundaes.
Owner Hiro Saito opened Kirari West in Redondo back in 2014, only three years after his family debuted Kirari in Fukushima, Japan. The original bakery was the only one at the time to use rice flour for pastries. Saito moved to the States to open Kirari West; eventually, the chef noticed his cookies only remained fresh for three or four days, which didn’t help his nationwide customer base or locals who wanted to keep an ongoing supply at home.
As Kirari West got busier, Saito liked the idea of having a warehouse space to deal with overflow and increase his retail business. But after Craigers Fudge, Ice Cream & Sweets closed last year, he signed a lease in January, and the idea of Confections by Kirari took shape in the form of a cookie shop that opened on June 22.
Upon entry, customers will immediately catch the scent of baked cookies and a whimsical hand-painted wall mural. For those that live in the Southland, Confections by Kirari has an entirely different direction than Kirari West’s breads, muffins, scones, brownies, cakes, salads, and sandwiches. Front and center are eight different cookies.
Saito prepares thick (but not dense) cookies that are classic chocolate chip, miso butterscotch, oatmeal rum raisin, and matcha white chocolate, to name a few. Saito also spent most of the year experimenting with cookie sundaes. Select vanilla bean, dark chocolate, or sea salt caramel ice cream, and then a preferred cookie chunk. Saito uses ice cream from Fosselman’s in Alhambra to make the sundaes. Sauces include chocolate, strawberry, banana orange compote, or butterscotch, while toppings could be roasted walnuts, chocolate chips, or butterscotch chips.
In addition, there’s drip coffee, cold brew, and tea as well. Operating hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.