Day 4: Japantown, Fillmore

Monday morning I experienced my first frustration with the NFT guidebook: steering me wrong when in came to breakfast in Japantown. Don’t want to make the same mistake? Read on…

Your guidebook might list Murata’s as the only place to get a cuppa joe near Post St. (where the heart of Japantown is), but take heart that there are alternatives to weak french roast and Costco muffins. Just past Murata’s – in the same building (1737 Post St.) – you’ll find Andersen Bakery, which is a chain but has a wider selection of pastries and at least one traditional Japanese bread called “anpan.” Also in the same building (but listed in NFT under “restaurants”) is May’s Coffee Shop, where they serve up some decent “taiyaki,” or fish-shaped donuts with various fillings.

But if you want my suggestion on getting a modern Japanese-style breakfast, I would hit up any one of the grocery stores in the area for some canned coffee and sweetbread – it’s an aquired taste, but a delightfully sugary way to wake up.

Japantown is home to possibly one of the best inventions ever – a food mall. Most restaurants don’t open until 11 a.m. or so, but it’s fun to drool over the menus (or plastic food replicas?) and wander in the stationery shops until lunchtime.

We ate lunch at Iroha – a second story restaurant just across the street from the Peace Plaza – that has awesome traditional ramen. Their lunch specials run from 11 – 5 at about $10, and they have delicious broiled eel (unagi) as a sideplate.

After hauling our stash of Japanese candies and other goodies back to the apartment, Janice and I ventured out to the Fillmore District to poke in more shops and restaurants. The coolest thing we found were soap sheets for use during travel; each package has 30 sheets, and you can buy them either as body wash or laundry soap, and you just mix them with water. It’s a neat idea, but not at $6 a pop – I’ll use the laundromat, thanks.

Our favorite spot on Fillmore was the Grove cafe, with great wooden outdoor seating, rich espresso and a rustic feel (and cheese plates! Sadly, we didn’t try…). We sat out there in the California sun, reading and solidying our flip-flop tans for hour or so – a perfect medidation.

Later that night, our SF trip culminated in a beautiful moment – eating burritos in the Mission District, which is famed for it’s mind-blowing Mexican cuisine. We had gotten a hot tip from a friend that El Toro Tacqueria (on 17th & Valencia) was the spot, and oh my god what a burrito! Seriously, like five pounds of refried beans-pork-guac-rice goodness. All I can say is try the carnitas, and eat it all.


Welcome to TDT. This blog is no longer active. Read about it here.

Required Reading


Post Calendar

April 2007
« Mar   May »