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Grab a Fresh Bowl, Bun, or Sushi Roll Made Your Way At Mogu Mogu

By Marina I. Jokic

Tomoko Kase is owner of the new Mogu Mogu café and restaurant in Albuquerque, and she is making waves with her fresh, tasty, and on-the-go recipes. Blending characteristically Japanese fare with some non-traditional ingredients in a quick-service setting makes the restaurant especially popular for working professionals. Creative, healthy, and tasty options are prepared in a simple way.

Kase opened her eatery inside an 800-square-foot space in the Journal Center, setting up inside the new headquarters for Kinesio, her father's therapeutic tape company.

"[At Mogu Mogu, you will find] authentic [home-cooked] Japanese style meals with lots of healthy options," Kase said. "According to one of our customers, there are over 15,840 combinations you can create with all the choices you have to select from."

You are presented with a choice of a bowl, bun, or sushi burrito style meal, first picking a base, a protein, vegetables, toppings, and finally sauces. Customers basically build their own bowl, sushi burrito or sandwich from an array of fresh ingredients. Being able to customize your meal entirely is a big draw for many.

"[The concept for] Mogu Mogu was born in the Japanese family kitchen," Kase said. "[Making] authentic meals [in a] simple, fresh, and fast [way is my primary goal]."

Acquainting yourself with the menu, you'll see a plentitude of 'base' options such as zucchini noodles, quinoa, kale, garlic noodle, and cauliflower rice. Protein and vegetable choices, equally enticing, include spicy eggplant, veggie tempura, overnight ginger pork, and roasted salmon.

With over eleven toppings and an assortment of ten distinct sauces to complete the meal, the café has a surfeit of options even for the most exacting customers. From cilantro, cabbage, and kimchi to creamy sesame and mango habanero sauce, the possibilities seem endless.

"Try a bowl with garlic noodle or [the] heathy [option] of the day such as cauliflower rice with Karaage (Japanese fried chicken marinated in special sauce with ginger, garlic, sake, soy sauce and other special ingredients), veggie choice of spicy eggplant and citrus green beans," Kase said.

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