Yes, I know it’s been a couple months since I’ve been there! But my mom and sister are visiting my brother in SF right now. I thought I would share a bit more of my trip while I sit dreaming of oishii tabemono.
One part of San Francisco that I love is Japantown. Being slightly otaku, who can blame me? I did live in Japan from 1978-1980 and then again from 1986-1990, so I have had real exposure and love for Japanese culture. Anyway, here are some Japanese gems that I enjoyed.
The Kinokuniya bookstore in Japantown is a treasure-trove! You can look through thousands of books, anime, manga, magazines and some are even in English.
I found a couple Japanese vegetarian cookbooks near the macrobiotic ones. I have been wanting to make Japanese rice bran pickles so I got a tsukemono book. There is also a great Japanese chef named Izumi and she has a wonderful blog on vege dining. (You can use Google’s translate service to read it) I picked up her book on how to make several lunches for the week by creatively using the same basic ingredients.
Also if you love cute bento, there are a myriad of how-to books with beautiful pictures. And yes, bentos do not have to be filled with Sanrio characters. I got this one: Kawaii Bento Boxes
I also found a Japanese vegetarian magazine called Veggy Steady Go. Engrish is so funny!
I’m hoping my mom will be able to pick up the latest issue for me. And yes, after living in Japan and taking 4 semesters of Japanese in college, I can read and understand quite a bit. Katakana is my friend.
There are a couple restaurants in Japantown but we decided to get some snacks at Nijiiya Market. In the prepared food section, they have a variety of Japanese takeout boxes, including organic brown rice, pickles, tofu dishes and a pleasant surprise: yasai korokke! Oh who doesn’t like deep fried veggie cutlets with tonkatsu sauce! They were so good and since airplane food is horrible or non-existent, we returned to Nijiiya before we headed to the airport so we could have something tasty in-flight.
While not in Japantown, we did have the pleasure of having a meal at Cha-Ya. It’s a delightful Japanese restaurant on Valencia St which just happens to be completely vegetarian. Have you ever had tofu stuffed in a portabella mushroom tempura-style served with broccolini and a kiwi-edamame sauce? Such creative and tasty food at decent prices. Oh Austin how I wish you had more veggie Japanese goodness!
San Francisco じゃあまたね 🙂