$2.50 Hand Roll on the Run in J-town

Mmmm...spamy...

Eating in a food court can be depressing, but May’s Coffee Shop in the Japan Center Kintetsu Mall is not your usual food court fare.  Of course, although, it is a concrete monolith, the Japan Center is not your typical mall.

 

Situated in the center section of the complex, amidst silk and plastic cherry blossoms, it’s a fairly unassuming Japanese style luncheonette counter with some utilitarian tables and benches, all bathed in that strange, I’m-not-quite-sure-what-time-it-is lighting.

 

The menu doesn’t seem like its super bargain basement at first, but the portions are pretty healthy and most breakfast and lunch plates come with the requisite helping of rice, potatoes, and toast ($5-$7).  If you like omelettes and you like meat, you’ll be in heaven.  You can feasibly get one with bacon, SPAM, hot dogs…and a coronary.

 

If that gives you a little pause, they have tamer and no less tasty options such as steamy bowls of udon, saimin or wonton soup for around five bucks.

 

For the real steal however, you can’t go wrong with their two savory and sweet options for on the go.

 

First is, the delicious, original fusion delicacy: SPAM musubi.  A slice of SPAM in between a block of rice, wrapped in nori and dressed in teri sauce, it’s a salty/ sweet package of sustenance coming in at $2.50.  Really, this stuff is a staple in Hawai’i, Japan, and Korea.

 

Last is the adorable little confection known as tai yaki ($1.50).  It’s basically crepe batter filled with azuki (red bean), chocolate, or banana filling and pressed into the shape of a little fish.  Ah, sweet little pastry of the sea, how you reel them in.

 

May’s Coffee Shop

1737 Post Street (Japan Center btw. Webster and Buchanan)

415.346.4020

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Stephen Torres - Threadbare-Fact Finder

Stephen's early years were spent in a boxcar overlooking downtown Los Angeles. From there he moved around the state with his family before settling under the warm blanket of smog that covers suburban Southern California. Moving around led to his inabilty to stay in one place for very long, but San Francisco has been reeling him back in with its siren song since 1999. By trade he pours booze, but likes to think he can write and does so occasionally for people like the SF Bay Guardian. He also likes to enoy time spent in old eateries, bars and businesses that, by most standards, would have been condemned a long time ago.

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