japanese (79)
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車えび : This snack was part of a larger gift set shared in my office's kitchen area, a place where abandoned snacks go to be consumed by unassuming coworkers. Myself being one of them, I took at random one of the sealed packages, expecting it to be sweet Japanese biscuits or cookies. I was surprised, to say the least, when I found what appeared to be dried, flattened prawns (head, legs, and all), fried to a crisp, along with what appeared to be thin wheat crackers with swirls of nori. Several attemp... (read more) 2.5/5.0

2.5 shrimp seafood japanese
2017 05 27 11.24.16

Yama Moto Yama Hot'N Spicy Teriyaki Nori Roasted Seaweed: This snack and brand is a staple in Asian grocery stores, and I ate it countless times growing up (though usually in the single-serving plastic packages, rather than the resealable container). This is the first time, though, that I've had the spicy version, which on first take is seemingly mild but quickly escalates to surprisingly high levels. Not as crispy as many of the Korean takes on seaweed crisps, which I've grown to prefer. 3.0/5.0

3.0 seaweed roasted nori teriyaki spicy hot'n yamamotoyama japanese
2017 05 21 11.16.52

Koikeya Pride Potato Hidennoko Norishio: Nori-flavored potato chips from Japan. Texture is less crispy than American potato chips, so you don't get the same satisfying crunch. Light on seasoning. Not bad, but not particularly good either. 2.5/5.0

2.5 norishio hidennoko koikeyapridepotato potatochips nori japanese chips
2017 05 21 11.22.43

Fugetsu-Do Peanut Butter Mochi: Long-standing Japanese confectionary shop Fugetsu-Do, located in Japantown in downtown Los Angeles, sells its mochi at various stores around California (I recently found their products at Berkeley Bowl). This set of Peanut Butter Mochi was purchased from Marukai in Glendale, LA and contained 6 sizable pieces of soft, chewy mochi filled literally with chunky peanut butter (maybe Jiff). It feels almost sacrilegious but simultaneously like a sort of twisted American dream where peanut butter c... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 mochi butter peanut fugetsudo japanese desserts
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Kimura Yuzu cider: I think I could live in the soft drinks section of Marukai Market in Gardena, LA, with its seemingly endless array of bottles in every color of the rainbow. It was hard to pick just one, but the beautiful vintage-style label of the Kimura brand sodas stood out to me, and yuzu-flavor just felt appropriate. The fizzy drink is pretty sweet, like a tangier Sprite. Paired with the rich burger I had for lunch, it worked well, but on its own, it's a bit too sweet for my taste. Still, as an alternat... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 cider yuzu kimura japanese marukai losangeles soda drinks
2017 05 06 18.36.37

Tai Arare: I purchased this snack from Tokyo Fish Market, a Japanese grocery store in Berkeley, hoping the fish-shaped crackers would be seafood flavored, as many Asian snacks are. The Chinese character on the packaging even literally translates to "red snapper" (though I have to admit that I had to use Google Translate to determine that). Despite the name and shape, the crackers are just regular glazed rice crackers – crunchy, sweeter than you would expect, but still with a savory soy aftertaste. A... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 arare tai japanese soy ricecrackers tokyofishmarket