exceptional (140)
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Pxl 20210410 221148306

Daybird Strawberry Lemonade: This strawberry lemonade is exceptional on its own but even more so as a companion to spicy foods. I had it alongside the fried chicken sandwich at Daybird (which is definitely worth seeking out), and as amazing as the sandwich was, I was actually left most impressed with the freshness of this drink, which captures perfectly the tart and sweet flavor of fresh strawberries. You can see the quality just in the color of the drink itself, with it's striking red-orange hue. I can't think of any w... (read more) 5.0/5.0

exceptional drinks losangeles daybird strawberry lemonade 5.0
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Nezu No Pan Lemon Poppy Seed Bread: The other flavored bread that I received from the bakery Nezu No Pan, located close to Nezu Station in Tokyo, is a lemon poppy seed loaf. It's pleasantly acidic, with a lemon flavor that's both sweet and sharp but not overly so, as the flavor is mellowed out by the pillowy, chewy bread. The texture somehow combines the best of mochi-like chewiness with the moist, soft consistency of freshly baked bread. A standout combination – the flavor alone is definitely one of the best lemon breads I... (read more) 4.5/5.0

exceptional tokyo nezu bread bakery baked nezunopan lemon poppy seed 4.5
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Nezu No Pan Mugwort Bread with Red Beans: My friend purchased two different mini loafs from Nezu bakery Nezu No Pan, whose bread has a texture unlike any I've had before. The outside of the loaf is a normal thin crust, but the inside is stretch and chewy, a bit like mochi but definitely lighter (for example, you can easily break off a piece). This bread has a vivid green color and slightly bitter herbal flavor from mugwort, a plant used to flavor some Asian desserts (the only other time I had it was also in Japan, and it was used ... (read more) 4.5/5.0

exceptional japanese nezu tokyo bakery nezunopan megwort bread red beans 4.5
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Ginza Akebono Strawberry Daifuku: For the most part, I've been able to try all the major traditional Japanese confectionary treats in my time in Japan, so I generally haven't been going out of my way to visit particular shops. However, if I see that a shop has a line, I'll take a look, especially as there are essentially no tourists in Tokyo now and so any place with a line is a local favorite. I hadn't known about this small shop in Ginza that opened right after WWII (about 60 years old), but their ichigo (strawberry) dai... (read more) 4.0/5.0

exceptional tokyo mochi ginza japanese ginzaakebono strawberry daifuku 4.0
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Sogetsu Kuromatsu Doriyaki: This doriyaki was an unexpected special gift from someone I met who knew about my snack blog. Because it was given to me, I didn't get to visit the shop directly, but the red bean pancake comes from Sogetsu, an almost 100-year-old brand whose shop in Kita-Ku attracts very long lines. The doriyaki has a marbled color, which is where its name Kuromatsu (black pine) comes from, as it resembles the bark of a tree. This coloring comes from a combination of brown sugar and honey used in the bat... (read more) 4.5/5.0

exceptional japanese tokyo redbean sogetsu kuromatsu doriyaki 4.5
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根津のたいやき Taiyaki: One thing I will sincerely miss when I leave Japan is the little mom & pop stands selling traditional Japanese treats like imagawayaki and taiyaki. This little stand in Nezu always seems to have a line, even in COVID times, and serves anko (red bean) filled fish-shaped pancakes. They cost just about $2 USD and they take care to snip off the burnt edges with scissors before placing your pancake in a to-go pouch, meant to be eaten quickly after it comes from the grill. Their red bean paste ... (read more) 4.5/5.0

exceptional japan nezu anko redbean tokyo taiyaki 4.5