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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Travel Adventure: San Francisco Sights

I've been to SF several times so I've gone to the big touristy places - Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, Lombard Street, etc... This post is not going to be about them. The internet is already full of information about these destinations so I thought I'd focus on a few of my favorite lesser known shops.

DAISO
(Japantown)
22 Peace Plz
San Francisco, CA 94115

(Financial District)
570 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94104

(UC Berkeley Area)
2369 Telegraph Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
Daiso in Japantown
Daiso was one of the stores on the top of my must-see list. In Japan, Daiso is famous for being a 100 yen shop. They carry everything from kitchen knick-knacks, bento accessories, and ceramics to school supplies and home decorations. In the U.S., they are mainly located in NorCal so I knew I had to check it out while I was in SF.

I absolutely, positively love love LOVE bento and kitchen gear and Daiso did not disappoint! I was so obessesed with Daiso that I went to all 3 of the closest Daisos to me. Although they all carried similar inventory, there were slight differences between the stores. Japantown's Daiso was by far the largest. They had the widest selection and a huge area for ceramics (bowls, dishes, plates, etc...).The Daiso in the Financial District was smaller, but they had the tall flan/pudding cups I've been searching everywhere for. (All 3 stores carried the shorter, wider flan/pudding cups though.) Berkeley's Daiso was the smallest out of the 3 and had a smaller inventory, but I did find some paper embossers that I didn't see (or maybe missed) in the other 2 stores. After going to so many Daisos, my suitcase was packed with bento boxes and soy sauce bottles and other random accessories. If making bentos is something you're interested in, be sure to check out Daiso! Their prices really can't be beat when it comes to items like these.

JAPAN VIDEO AND MEDIA, INC.
(Japan Center Kintetsu Mall)
1737 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94115
Japan Video and Media, Inc. - Giant Totoro
While shopping around Japan Center, I stumbled across this anime/Asian drama shop. What caught my eye was the GIANT Totoro at the entrance! I've never seen a Totoro this big! It made me want to just run up to it and hug it! Inside, they had other anime plushies, but I didn't really browse around. There were a few other shops in Japan Center I wanted to visit and time was running out so I didn't even look at their selection of anime, but if you're a My Neighbor Totoro fan like me, you'd get a kick out of seeing a giant Totoro!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Travel Adventure: San Francisco Sweets

In San Francisco, I indulged in many sweet treats.
So many ice creams and cakes and pastries, I did eat.
Here I present some tasty morsels I loved.
So you, too, may experience what I think the world of.

With The Lorax opening, I couldn't resist
Rhyming some rhymes as I reminisced. :)

ANDERSEN BAKERY
1737 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94115
(Inside the Nihonmachi Mall Shopping Center)
Andersen Bakery - Japantown
There are several Andersen Bakeries located throughout San Francisco, but I stopped by this location to grab a breakfast snack while shopping in Japantown. 
Andersen bakery - Morning Bun
I opted for the Morning Bun because it looked small and would tide me over until I met up with N to have lunch at Ike's Place. It was lightly sweet and cinnamony. I've never had a morning bun before, but this one seemed alright.

PHILZ COFFEE
4023 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94114
Philz Coffee - Mint Mojito Iced Coffee
After N and I finished our Ike's sandwiches, we met up with my Lil B at Philz Coffee. I'm not a big coffee drinker, but N recommended the Mint Mojito Iced Coffee saying it was pretty famous. I usually don't like fresh mint (except in a cocktail or with Vietnamese food), but the mint wasn't overpowering in the coffee. I liked how this coffee was really light, not like other places that can drown their coffees in sugar and flavored syrup. If you are a coffee aficionado, you should definitely check this place out. 

BI-RITE CREAMERY
3692 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
Bi-Rite Creamery
After Philz, we went to Bi-Rite to grab some ice cream. This place is famous for its gourmet ice cream flavors that rotate daily.
Bi-Rite Creamery Flavors
Honey Lavender... Basil... Peach Ginger... You'd never see your local Baskin Robbins with these flavors!
Bi-Rite Creamery Prices
Bi-Rite Creamery - Salted Caramel (Kid Size) $2.25
I sampled the Honey Lavender and found it too floral so I ended up choosing the Salted Caramel, which is one of their most popular flavors. It was rich and creamy, but I didn't like the burnt caramel taste. I'd still go back to try some of their other exotic flavors though.
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