This LA Japanese Bakery's $18 Loaves Of Milk Bread Sell Out In Minutes

The days of book-length menus and restaurants that offer something for everyone may be numbered. While there's a time and a place for The Cheesecake Factory's novel of options, restaurants that specialize in doing just a few things really well are having their moment in the sun. According to CNN, smaller menus and more targeted offerings have helped the restaurant industry weather rising costs and pandemic-related labor struggles.

New York City's The Meatball Shop, for example, only cooks up versions of meatballs, per Lovefood. And PBJ.LA jazzes up the childhood favorite sandwich with gourmet nut butters and interesting jams and jellies. Los Angeles' Ginza Nishikawa bakery takes it a step further and offers exactly one baked good: a loaf of milk bread, also known as shokupan. And if you want to try it, you better be quick — the loaves sell out minutes after being posted online.

"It is quite normal for vendors to specialize in one product in Asia," Noriko Okubo, Chief Operating Officer, Ginza Nishikawa USA, told Tasting Table. "You make one thing, but you do it really really well."

A luxurious take on milk bread

For the unaware, milk bread is having something of a moment. The Japanese sandwich staple is fluffier than typical white bread with a lightly golden exterior and rectangular shape. What makes Ginza Nishikawa's take on shokupan special enough that it sells out in a matter of minutes is the bakery's focus on high-quality ingredients. For example, it uses alkaline ionized water to create "a sweet, silky, and soft texture," the bakery notes on its website

And unlike other commercial baking operations, Ginza Nishikawa doesn't rely on preservatives — instead serving loaves made with fresh cream and butter straight from the oven. According to Noriko Okubo, these steps transform Ginza Nishikawa's loaves into Kokyu Shokupan, which means "luxurious bread" in Japanese.

"People want to spend money on a small luxury like this to feel like they are treating themselves," Okubo told Tasting Table. "We hope that this idea is adapted here in the U.S. with our first international outpost."

If you're lucky enough to land one of Ginza Nishikawa's illusive loaves, Okubo has a few tips for how you should enjoy it. On the first day, the shokupan should be eaten on its own so you can really appreciate the milk bread's silky-smooth texture.

"On day two, the bread turns sweeter, so we suggest slicing it as thick as you like and add your favorite toppings," Okubo says. "On day three, toast the bread for a crispy crust and enjoy with or without toppings."