Wednesday, August 26, 2020

❤️ Hello/Goodbye

“Endings are the saddest part,
So just give me a happy middle
And a very happy start.” 

                                                                             ― Shel Silverstein, Every Thing on It

Over 13 years ago, when I worked at a little store and dreamed of owning a shop, I bought myself a very special necklace engraved in microscopic script, “Whatever you would do, begin it. Boldness has courage, genius and magic in it.” When opportunity finally came along, I wore the talisman every day while Tom and I created Momo, from musing about the would-be mission, to painting the 17’ walls with a borrowed scaffold. After all, opening a boutique was an intrepid move for two folks with little retail experience — I needed as much pluck, brilliance and miracle making that I could muster.

Now I must once again don my silver touchstone, as the time has come to move on from Momo.
There are so many reasons beyond the challenges of this current climate. Originally, the plan was 10 years. We surpassed that mark successfully and I charged ahead, with Tom by my side, but not without his kvetching. And my folks, who a few of you have met, are growing very old and my heart yearns to sit with them in their backyard watching the birds while talking story.
We did what we set out to do. And it was more fulfilling than we could ever imagine. Opening a shop seems to be about designing an environment and buying cool stuff. But really, it’s about the people who support us, over and over again. And that comes from all sides — from the best landlord, to loyal staff, to talented, reliable vendors, to a community that’s got your back, to appreciative customers who become friends.
As for our timeframe, just like so much these days, we’re taking it as it comes, with the aim of closing completely by end of September. I’m not sure of what’s in the cards for me … I might metamorphosize as Mini Momo, you never know. If you have any insights, share them! And you’ll find Tom in our garden, working on the house, and loving retirement.

What’s regrettable is that our paths may not cross again. Oh, how we’ve enjoyed hearing of your worlds outside of Momo! We wish you long and contented lives, and that the children we’ve met grow up to be smart, healthy and joyful, and that all your wishes come true.
So, thank you — you made Momo the happy • lucky place it’s been for the last 13 years. Here’s to the final few Aloha Fridays, and life’s next adventure.

xo Lala & Tom
ps: Thanks to Thomas Barwick for the photo, click on it for a fun farewell song.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Japantown is Open! (sort of)



Ever so slowly, Seattle’s Japantown businesses are peeking out from behind plywood to welcome you for whatever you need. So where can a visitor explore the historic neighborhood these days? Here’s the short list, with more doors cautiously opening every week. Come on down — and arigato for wearing a mask!




Seven days a week, 10:00 - 7:00

$1.50 shop

710 6th Avenue South



International Model Toys

Seven days a week, 11:30 - 7:30

For the hobbyist and collector

524 South King Street



Kinokuniya Bookstore

Seven days a week, 10:00 - 6:00

Books, CDs, stationery galore

525 South Weller Street



Friday and Saturday, 

Noon - 5:00

Or by appointment (

Happy ‘hapa’ shop for men and women

600 South Jackson Street


Pink Gorilla Games

Seven days a week, 11:00 - 7:00

Video games, anime toys

601 South King Street


Savvy Cosmetics

Seven days a week, 11:00 - 5:00

Japanese beauty treatment, skincare and cosmetics

Located inside Uwajimaya

600 5th Avenue South




Monday, Wednesday - Saturday, Noon - 6:00

Sunday, 12:00 - 5:00

Lifestyle shop for the cannabis culture

618 South Jackson Street




Seven days a week, 8:00 - 8:00

Asian persuasion gift/grocery store

4601 6th Avenue South





Fuji Bakery

Take out only

Monday - Saturday, 7:30 - 5:00

Sunday, 7:30 - 4:00

French-Japanese pastry café

526 South King Street



Fuji Sushi

Dine in and take out

Tuesday - Sunday, 11:00 - 9:30

Sushi and bento in a contemporary setting

520 South Main Street



Fort St. George

Dine in: Monday - Saturday, 5:00 - 10:00

Take out: Friday and Saturday, 11:30 - 2:00, Sunday, 11:00 - 8:00

Casual fusion of Japanese/American

601 South King Street



Take out only

Tuesday - Sunday, 4:30 - 8:30

Mom-style cooking

304 6th Avenue South


Momosan Ramen & Sake

Take out only

Seven days a week, 11:30 - 8:00

Noodle shop of a famous Iron Chef

504 5th Avenue South



Dine in and take out

Lunch: Monday - Saturday, 11:00 - 2:30

Dinner: Monday - Saturday, 4:30 - 9:00

Japanese favorites done quickly

512 South King Street



Panama Hotel Tea and Coffee

Sip in and take out

Seven days a week, 9:00 - 3:00

Historic hotel offering tea, coffee and cocktails

605-1/2 South Main Street



Samurai Noodle

Take out only

Monday - Thursday, 11:00 - 8:00

Friday - Sunday, 11:00 - 8:30

Authentic ramen and gyoza

606 5th Avenue South




Dine in dinner only: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 5:00 - 10:00

Friday and Saturday, 5:00 - 11:00, Sunday, 5:00 - 9:00

Take out: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, Noon - 10:00

Friday and Saturday, Noon - 11:00, Sunday, Noon - 9:00

Take out mini lunch special: Wednesday - Sunday, Noon - 2:00

Secret restaurant and sushi bar

515 South Main Street





Danny Woo Garden

Open during daylight hours

An active community garden

Visit the Kobe stone lantern at the top

Across from the Panama Hotel


Nihonmachi Alley

Open 24/7

A tribute to historic Japantown featuring murals and more

On South Jackson between Sixth and Maynard


Pioneer Barber Company

Monday, Wednesday - Friday, 10:00 - 6:00

Saturday, 10:00 - 5:00

Modern barbershop within an historic space

314 6th Avenue South






Wednesday and Thursday, 10:30 - 5:00

Custom quality framing services

527 South Main Street





Susu Dessert Bar

Take out only

Friday - Sunday, 11:00 - 3:00

Epicurean Eurasian pastries

665 South King Street

New Star Seafood

Take out only

Seven days a week, 11:00 - 10:30

Cantonese and Hong Kong-style classic cuisine

516 South Jackson Street



World Pizza

Take out only

Tuesday - Saturday, 3:00 - 7:00

Vegetarian slices and pies, salads and sweets

672 South King Street





Friday, July 31, 2020

In these days of Endless Summer, how do you know it’s Friday?

Because Momo and Susu Dessert Bar, a delicious new addition to the neighborhood, are both open! Giving you two worthwhile reasons to trek on down to the District on the weekend — shopping AND sweets. 

Much like Momo, the café owned by Katie and chef Muhammad Fairoz brings together Asian and European influences to create a wholly unique experience. Currently, offerings are limited and very special. Newbies may want to start with a kouign amann (pronounced queen-ya-mahn). Sort of a cross between a malasada and croissant, it’s at once flaky, soft and buttery with a crunchy, caramelized finish. After sinking his teeth into one of these heavenly orbs, Mr. Momo proclaimed, “It's got everything going for it!” Two thumbs up from a finicky foodie.

Adventuresome eaters will want to sample pastries featuring durian, the Southeast Asian fruit notorious for its objectionable fragrance and delicious flesh. Among the creations are durian fancier and durian pâte à choux or cream puff. Momo Mamo has yet to find the courage to try the peculiar fruit, preferring to stick with more understated options like the lemon cake — dense, moist, perfectly tart and beautiful to behold. 

There is so much more and the menu varies. At present, everything is to go, with friendly service at the walk up window. We look forward to the day we can sit within the sparkling fresh restaurant and enjoy a glass of wine with dessert. In the meantime, go early to make sure you get what you’re craving — and tell them Momo sent you.

And Momo is OPEN. Since you’re in the ’hood, don your Hawaiian shirt and party mask and give us a visit. Fridays and Saturdays from 12:00 - 5:00. We miss you and can’t wait to see your eyes. Or, if a private shopping session is preferable, that can be arranged: drop us an email at Check us out online at, on IG: @hellomomoseattle and FB: MOMOseattle

Susu Dessert Bar
Friday - Sunday, 11:00 - 3:00
665 South King Street
In the Louisa Hotel

And Mahalo to sister Carrie Wedemeyer for the idyllic photo and graphic treatment. Check out her design on IG: @eat.drink.dezign

Happy Aloha Friday!

Saturday, July 18, 2020

The Door is Open

Take a walk and come visit us during our new hours. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon.
Fridays and Saturday, 12:00 - 5:00 pm
Other days, by appointment. Email
Instagram: @hellomomoseattle
Facebook: MOMOseattle

Monday, June 8, 2020

Momo to Go: The Dad’s Day Edition

Uh, so what day is it again? It’s almost Dad’s Day — Sunday, June 21. Time to send a little love to the father figures in our lives. We’ve combed through our current collection to bring you our favorites from Momo to Go. And of course, it wouldn’t be the same without our fame-ish sets, so here are a few. We’re always open to mixing and matching ... send us an email at to get your gift going. For a complete guide to Momo to Go, visit our post on More Momo to Go. And thanks, Dad. 

Time for a change: Is dad ready to ditch the sweatshirt he’s been wearing for the past 80 days? Hit ‘Refresh’ with a heather grey cotton pocket sweater from Copenhagen. Casual, lightweight comfort is perfect for hanging out or Zoom meeting at home; $120. Cut a little long with a semi-slim fit. S-M-L-XL. 

The gift of time: The Logic stainless steel watch with Seiko quartz movement is an expression of rugged elegance. Featuring a 42mm diameter case with a real wood dial face on a sturdy 22mm Italian leather band. Screw-down crown assures water resistance to 330 feet; $150.
For the Waterman: Unisex watch with bright Lume dial in 38mm diameter stainless steel case with Seiko quartz movement. Screw-down crown assures water resistance to 660 feet; $155.

$ocks Set; $39 - $49
Say you love him from his wallet, right down to his toes. Your choice of sleek leather accessory paired with either Italian dress socks or sporty Japanese socks. 

Flip Fold
First the wallets: 
A simple flip fold that fits neatly in a pocket. ID window, slots for credit cards, business cards and cash, 4.25" x 3.25". In Brown/Black, Cobalt/Yellow, Black/Brown or Red/Black. 
Sleek bi-fold with room for ID, credit cards and cash. 4.25" x 3.375". In Black/Brown, Mahogany or Black. 


Then the socks: 
Italian socks add the right amount of levity to a look. Made in Italy of fine cotton (rugby stripe is light weight merino wool), in a smooth knit that feels cool on the feet. Fits shoe sizes 8.5-12. Designs left to right: Gone Fishing, Diamonds, Tiny Dots, Dinosaur Bones or Thin Stripe Rugby. 
Japanese reversible socks give you twice as much wear! Ankle length fits men’s shoe size 8-10. In Light Grey or Desert Tan. 
Japanese performance sport socks with engineered compression arch-fit support. Extremely comfortable whether you’re finishing the back nine or spending the day touring. Fits men’s shoe size 8-10. In Sea Blue or Pop Green. 


Japanese reversible

Japanese Performance 

Grooming Combo; $75
Dad will be looking dandy with our Billy Jealousy shave creme and aftershave (substitute face moisturizer for after shave if you'd like) and smile brightening Italian toothpaste, all tied up furoshiki-style in a locally made ‘Know Your Fishing Knots’ bandana. We have only two bandanas in stock, so if you like this one, please let me know ASAP. 

Father Fix It; $35
A great gift for the gadget geek includes a lightweight cotton beanie, milled in Canada, and a pen screw tool with eight micro heads for tightening the smallest of screws (think glasses, watches and computers). And, a multi-function, handyman pen friend. Select your choice of colors for all three. 

Hot Stuff Special; $38
Spice up your dad’s daily routine with a these choice peppery products. ‘No Spice, No Life’ sticker from a local Seattle artist says it all, along with a packet of Japanese togarashi, Seattle-made Mama Dragon grinder blending Himalayan salt with jalapeño, habanero, chili and ghost peppers. Plus, a jar of everyone’s favorite Mama Lil’s pickled goat horn peppers. 

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Mother’s Day is in the Bag with Mom-O to Go

Happy Mother’s Day! Momo sends big love to all moms, those who have mothered another, and anyone who nurtures and inspires you.

And for Seattle-ites, it’s not too late for Mother’s Day Momo to Go (MtG), easy peasy with our unique Kimono Kits. Pick from two sets of Japanese kimono silk pouches filled with little luxuries — ‘Deluxe’ with five products or ‘Essentials’ with three products (so sorry, Essentials set is sold out, see Deluxe kit for update). For delivery, I can pop in the mail, drive within five miles for $5, or you’re welcome to fly by for pre-arranged pick up.

Kimono Kit Deluxe: Cosmetics pouch
with five pampering products; $100.

Kimono Kit Deluxe; $100. Includes a roomy gusseted pouch filled with a full-size soap, Italian toothpaste, Japanese moisturizer and lip balm, and solid perfume. This bag is perfect for cosmetics, lotion and other everyday necessities. Update: Since the Essentials Set is sold out, you are welcome to purchase the Deluxe pouch ($47) and pick whatever you’d like to put inside to make your own kit, cost will vary according to what you choose. 

Kimono Kit Essentials: Flat Pouch with three treats; $60. 

Kimono Kit Essentials; $60. Tucked into a slim, flat pouch you’ll find a full-size soap, Italian toothpaste and Japanese moisturizer. This pocket is ideal for phone cords, notepads and other small items. Update: This flat pouch is sold out. 

How does it work? It’s simple as 1-2-3! 
1. Pick Your Pouch. Our vintage kimono silk pouches are hand sewn by Portland textile artist Katherine Ragghianti. Lightweight, zippered and lined in plastic, they’re smart for travel.

Kimono Kit Deluxe pouches: Starting at top left and going clockwise, state color(s) and 1-2-3-4-5-6. Please give first and second choice. I have more (similar) options on hand, too. Dimensions: 7" wide x 5" tall x 2" deep. Update: front left pouch is reserved for Jiawen!

Kimono Kit Essentials pouches: Starting at the top left and moving clockwise, state 1-2-3-4. Please give a first and second choice. Dimensions: 9" wide x 6" tall x 3/8" deep. Update: Essentials flat pouch is sold out, you are welcome to substitute the Deluxe pouch for $82 total. 2. Pick Your Soap, Moisturizer and Toothpaste.

Formulary 55 Bath Bars
Formulary 55 shea butter soap is hand made in Pueblo, Colorado by a duo of once-residents of Seattle. Try it and you’ll fall in love with the creaminess and divine fragrance. Bath bar lasts through many a lather at 6 oz. Apiary No. 55 is Milk & Honey.

Yu-Be super moisturizer. 
Yu-Be moisturizing face and body cream helps you say sayonara to dry skin. Invented in 1957, this non-comedogenic, glycerin-based concentrate from Japan is a proven winner. Original formula in orange box has a bit of a camphor scent, Advanced Formula in green contains chamomile extract.

Marvis Italian toothpaste.
Marvis Italian toothpaste will turn your daily ritual into a dental delight. It leaves your mouth clean and fresh without an aftertaste, and doesn’t contain flouride (a good thing as I’m allergic). Choose from Classic Mint, Whitening (voted one of the best whitening toothpastes by Allure Magazine, or exotic Jasmine Mint. 

3. Pick Your Fragrance. For Kimono Kit Deluxe, choose from six scents from Portland’s Sweet Anthem, thoughtfully made of soy wax, organic shea butter and essential oils.
Freyja: Warm amber, comforting tonka bean and traquil blueberry.
Juliet: Jasmine sambac flowers, orange blossoms and pink pepper.
Annabelle: Sweltering jasmine, Osmanthus and sea spray.
Elliott: Pinyon pine, labdanum and tonka bean.
Anton: Apple, wasabi, sandalwood and cedar.
Colin: Cardamom, saffron, mahogany and fig.

Sweet Anthem Solid Perfume includes unisex fragrances. 

Like to add a card? I have one of each of these made in Hawaii by Mozaic Paper (my talented sister’s design firm). Standard size cards are letterpress on fine paper; $6. Gift enclosures are printed; $2. Please share first and second choice.

Hawaii-style greetings from Mozaic Paper.

Ready to order? Email with the following information:
- Your full name and phone number
- Full name and address of the person receiving your gift
- Deluxe or Essentials and first and second choices of
   > Pouch
   > Soap
   > Moisturizer
   > Toothpaste
   > Fragrance if relevant (Lip balm as is)
   > Card if you’re adding
- Any message you would like to include if you are not picking up

Each kimono pouch is unique and quantities are limited, so act soon if you’re interested. I’ll be working solo fulfilling order throughout the week so your patience is appreciated. Prices are pre-tax and delivery (no tax on shipping or MtG drop off). Also, I’m collecting payment via Venmo, Zelle or cash. Thank you and Happy Mother’s Day!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Momo to Go - Fresh Sheet

Our little brick-and-mortar is still chock full of ingredients that make a delightful Momo to Go package, whether it’s a ‘thinking of you’ surprise for a friend or a pick-me-up for yourself. With that, for our next course, we present two tempting trios:

#1: Sumofish Special  $40
A super-sized set from our favorite ono-kine food fanatic. Select your main tee, side it with a decal and carry it out in a vinyl shopping tote. 

First, pick your tee. Made of comfortable cotton/poly, a Sumofish tee keeps its shape and shrinks just a smidge. True-to-size American men’s fit in S-M-L-XL. Please provide a first and second choice design, along with size. We also have selected styles in youth sizes, 12 - 14. Update: Currently sold out of youth sizes, but will be reordering by request, you just have to be patient, please.
Choose from (L to R, top to bottom): 
Sumofish Seattle, Powered by Gohan, Sushi Surfer
Tako Samurai, Shoyu T-Rex, Ramen Shark
Drunk Tako, No Gut No Glory, Grinds-bot

Next, pick your decal. There’s a match for every tee — or mix it up. Printed on durable, waterproof vinyl and 4-6" large, they’re a fun way to personalize a laptop, skateboard, rice cooker, whatever. 

Last, put a bag on it. Keep it green with a lightweight Sumofish shopping bag. Hungry for more? For $12 (including tax), throw in Hawaii’s Best Butter Mochi Mix in Regular or Brownie. You’ll thank me later. 
#2: Tea Time is Me Time  $33 - $42
We promise hours of quiet with this contemplative combo — at least for the next few weeks! Organic teas and creature cups are both locally sourced from the Bellingham area, ensuring the utmost freshness. Top it off with a saucer to save your teabag for one more round. Price depends on your cup of choice. 

X-Large Set; $42.

First, pick your cup. Created by the Bowl Maker, each animal comes only on the cup as shown, prices vary by size. Update: More cups coming, including cats! Plates are all sold out.

X-Large means less refilling! 4-1/2" Tall.

Lovely Larges . 3-1/2" Tall. 

Medium fits many hands. 3" Tall.

Small is perfect for shots or tots. 2" Tall. 

Next, pick your tea. Flying Bird Botanicals uses only the finest teas, packed in compostable tins. Six teabags in each.

Brighten your day ... Update: So sorry, currently out
of White Lemon Ginger and Lavender Orange Grey.

Calm your soul. Update: Currently sold out
of Twilight Mint and Harvest Moon Chai.

Last, pick your plate. A colorful spot to rest your teabag, measures about 3-5/8" diameter. Also a handy kitchen keeper of rings and other small jewelry. Update: all small plates are sold out. Ready to order? Drop an email to Thanks for supporting Momo to Go!

Large Set; $38. 

Medium Set; $35.

Small Set; $33.