Osaka Ya, a nondescript bakery in a small Japanese enclave in Sacramento, holds a delicious surprise. In a glass case at the center of the store are row upon row of fresh-baked mochi (rice flour w/ bean fillings) and manchu (cake flour w/ bean fillings). My friend and I opted for the pink mochi with smooth red bean, the white mochi with whole red bean, and the green mochi with mugwort and red bean paste. The rice flour coating was especially soft and chewy – a step above those sold in Japanese grocery stores. The bean fillings were the perfect level of sweetness and just rich enough to tide us over for a late lunch. We didn’t have a chance to try the manchu but they looked equally tasty. For the more adventurous, Osaka Ya offers daily specials including mochi filled with sweet lima beans and mochi with peanut butter. If you’re purchasing the treats as a gift, the friendly woman behind the counter will package the cakes in a decorative tray or box. Just keep in mind that they’re best eaten fresh. Priced at a reasonable $1 per piece, I’m kicking myself for not purchasing a whole tray when I had the chance. Don’t make the same mistake.