JapaneseTaste Test : Initial D-themed Fujiwara Tofu Cafe

The star of the street racing anime/manga franchise would need to walk or take a plane or boat to visit.

We check out the cafe the star of the street racing anime/manga franchise would need to board a plane or boat to do so.

Initial Ds huge success has gotten very long: enough anime style to appeal to otaku regardless of whether or not they even have a driver license; plenty of vehicle content to make it a fun watch for gearheads who havent thought of animation. Initial D sits right in the sweet spot; maybe it was just a matter of time to know that it was time to open an Initial D-themed sweets cafe.

Fujiwara Tofu Café is notoriously hot at Gunma, mainly in Japan. Instead of being located on the other side of the Pacific, in Los Angeles Countys city of El Monte.

L.A. non-English signage isnt all that shockingly unusual but even fans will be happily surprised as they recognise the exact same font as on the doors of Initial D protagonist Takumis Hachi Roku. But instead of the Takumis dad runs, the corner tenant in this El Monte mini mall is the Fujiwara Tofu Cafe (Sustainability & Dessert) that he says is the initial D-themed drink and dessert spot.

Japanese text is sort of slip-on, but probably wanted to say Delicious tofu comes from domestically grown soybeans.

Step inside, and references come out even more clearly. And above the counter is the exact version of Fujiwara Tofu Shops exterior signage, the imitation ivy behind it helping to sell the illusion of its outside. Also includes a full-scale replica of the Takumis car door but with Fujiwara Tofu Cafe.

Initial D artwork, hanging on and covering the walls; theres both front and rear artwork

And cabinets full of Initial D merch, memorabilia.

It seemed too late to install the Initial D arcade game cabinet for the game.

Even the seats are themed, the stool covers look like the black eight-spoke wheels of Takumis car.

Go to the touchscreen kiosk as you enjoy the cool decor (and yes, a lot of people who walks through the door immediately start snapping pictures).

Payment by app or credit card, which is kind of a hassle if its cash-oriented. On the other hand, I think it could be the source-material authenticity that you can say. Japanese animes Fujiwara Tofu Shop? Wouldnt take U.S. cash.

The Fujiwara Tofu Cafe, which does pay a licensing fee to Initial D rights holders, has a slightly different name than its inspiration – an open admission that theyre not pretending to offer the same lineup as at a real Japanese tofu shop, and what the Fujiwara Tofu Cafe does offer isnt particularly Japanese either. In L.A. County’s foodie cafes, its more about Chinese sweets than about origin of initial Ds. Large variety of tempting soy milk dessert drinks, all with names taken from Initial D, such as the Speed Stars with caramel, chestnut, and boba tapioca, and Fujiwara Zone with black sticky rice and coconut soymilk.

Soymilk free from additional added ingredients, comes in bottles. Fujiwara Tofu Cafe offers its Legendary Tofu Pudding topped with brown sugar, sweet red beans, black sesame paste or brown sugar boba as well.

Azuki sweet red beans make everything better, opted for topping as my inspiration.

Unfortunately, it doesnt come in the cool-looking wood-trimmed buckets on the menu, rather a paper tub. You have a very large shopper for US$5.86 (780 yen). On the plus side, you get the big part for its price.

So, what would it be? Unique would probably be the best description. The azuki is essentially something of a tasteful, crisper, yet soft red beans Ive ever had in U.S. from the best news or really very good news, and some of the best flavors and well-textured sweet red beans Ive ever had.

Tofu only tofu on the other hand. No one has tofu itself, but it isnt the next tofu-appreciating guy. But if you’ve done the tofu, you wont have to be doing what you want and have to try some very yummy red beans, like with the dessert called annin tofu, maybe. azuki didnt really melt into the tofu pudding with cold in it. Sweets – you may be looking at tofu for the top half of the desert, but if youve got the skills to save a lot of azuki up until the end, the taste buds feel less like youre eating tofu for the back half.

Again, the azuki looks great, a huge boba fan, definitely enjoying his Fujiwara Zone. You can even take a drink from Fujiwara Tofu Cafe while waiting for your order, and then when you get it and your car cups and you get back on the mountain roads.

Fujiwara Tofu Cafe Address: 9216 Flair Dr, Unit B, El Monte, CA, USA Open 1 p.m.-10 p.m. Website

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