Tuesday, December 25, 2007
This is a traditional Japanese Christmas cake I picked up in Japantown in San Francisco on Christmas Eve. It's a surprise for Christmas tea at Jo-Ann & Jonathon's (with two children on Christmas, I'm sure they won't be reading this before I arrive with it!). It's interesting how different cultures interpret and adopt others traditions. It's popular in Japan to eat these special cakes on Christmas day.
Since Dad went to his usual Monday senior program for a party today, I had the day to myself, and only some milk and the Christmas cake to pick up to complete my preparations for the big day. I decided to enjoy Japantown and its holiday dress too!
There were decorations all over Japantown celebrating Christmas and the winter season.
I decided to try a Japanese restaurant with a bit of a different twist for lunch. There are a number of shops on the bridge over a street and between buildings, so this one is named "On the Bridge". It's a very contemporary casual Japanese restaurant that puts a new spin on typical western dishes.
On the Bridge also decorated for Christmas. Although more than just the younger set frequent this place, it is certainly teen and college age friendly with manga (Japanese comics) lining the walls and there for the browsing while you eat.
When I responded to their query about drinks mentioning Calpis, the man who seemed to be the owner took me over to the counter and said they had LOTS of Calpis, which kind did I want.... indeed there were many choices, and I decided on the peach flavor. My Dad insisted I take some cash and buy myself a Christmas present in the morning from him, so I started leafing through the fun cookbook on 'anytime' vegetables I picked up for myself at Kinokuniya.
And the very cool and crisp small green salad arrived with a boat of sesame ginger salad dressing. What a refreshing start to lunch!
I tried their Napolitan spaghetti, and they add to their menu description that it is made with ketchup, the traditional Japanese coffee-house way! Actually, I was expecting a more coffee house style, very plain with some thin slices of deli ham and perhaps some fresh tomato bits, but instead, a very deluxe version was set before me. It was more of a Napolitan prima vera, with so many fresh vegetables such as broccoli, eggplant, carrots and mushrooms, as well as the expected fresh tomatoes. There were also a few Japanese style light sausages tucked in. A very friendly place and worth stopping by again for nostalgia of the east-meets-west style of pasta.