Tamon Tea 2055-A Center St./Shattuck Ave., downtown, (510) 647-9370. Daily 10:30-6. Cash only.
In this tiny, little hole in the wall, you’ll find an array of simple, affordable Japanese delicacies. Omusubi--seaweed-wrapped triangles of rice wrapped around a choice of fillings--are made fresh when ordered, so the rice is moist and warm; brown rice is an option. Fillings include the very popular unagi (eel) as well as spicy tuna, sukiyaki beef, pickled plum, Spam, and many more; $3/each. Donburi bowls are more filling; $8. I adore chewy mochi, and when it is made fresh, like it is here, it is as soft as a baby’s butt. Kushi dango stuffed with red bean and threaded on a stick, includes flavors that tend to be fruity--mango, pineapple, strawberry, and blueberry; $3/stick of three. (Dango is a dumpling made with rice flour; “hanami” indicates they are stuffed with azuki beans; “mitarashi” indicates they are glazed with sweetened soy sauce; “kushi” indicates they are served on skewers.). A machine from Hawaii produces powdery shave ice that is particularly pretty with blue Hawaiian ice cream soda. For drinks, choose from a plethora of teas. Plan to take away your order, as there are only a few tiny tables squeezed into the back.
|exterior of Tamon Tea in Berkeley, California|
|order counter at Tamon Tea in Berkeley, California|
|dango selection at Tamon Tea in Berkeley, California|
|pleasant service at Tamon Tea in Berkeley, California|
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