Oh, those glass cases packed with drab croissants, bran muffins and 
packaged chocolate biscotti.

The breakfast eats at most San Francisco caf?s are predictably 
lackluster--but not at the Mission's Little Spot Caf?.

Run for the past year by a young Japanese couple, the meeting place on the 
corner of South Van Ness and 23rd streets provides an uncommon 
latte-pairing option: house-made onigiri.

The stuffed rice balls, sold in specialty shops and gas stations alike in 
Japan, are an inexpensive convenience food appealing in their simplicity.

Every morning, the couple stuff onigiri with slugs of ume (pickled Japanese 
apricots), kombu (kelp) and salmon, swaddling each wad in nori.

The onigiri are ready by 8 a.m, and at that hour, each warm, doughnut-size 
parcel ($1.50) is so fresh it practically pulses in its cellophane wrapper.

Once unfurled and bitten into, the dried seaweed exterior cracks to reveal 
perfect grains of lightly salted rice and sweet, saucy kombu threads, or a 
nugget of pink salmon flakes.

If Little Spot's revelatory breakfast whets your Japanese food needs
http://tastingtable.com/entry_detail/sf/1698/Our_favorite_new_destination_for_ramen_fixes.htm 
, note that reasonably priced nigiri, rolls, and clam-laced miso soup are 
offered Tuesday through Friday evenings.

The Little Spot Caf?, 1199 S. Van Ness Ave. (at 23rd St.); 415-550-1800
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TastingTable
 
 
Wed. 21 Jul '10
Dining | SAN FRANCISCO
 
Truly Eye-Opening
Fresh onigiri, your new cafe-breakfast staple
 
The Little Spot Cafe
Onigiri with kombu
 
Oh, those glass cases packed with drab croissants, bran muffins and packaged chocolate biscotti.

The breakfast eats at most San Francisco cafés are predictably lackluster--but not at the Mission's Little Spot Café.

Run for the past year by a young Japanese couple, the meeting place on the corner of South Van Ness and 23rd streets provides an uncommon latte-pairing option: house-made onigiri.

The stuffed rice balls, sold in specialty shops and gas stations alike in Japan, are an inexpensive convenience food appealing in their simplicity.

Every morning, the couple stuff onigiri with slugs of ume (pickled Japanese apricots), kombu (kelp) and salmon, swaddling each wad in nori.

The onigiri are ready by 8 a.m, and at that hour, each warm, doughnut-size parcel ($1.50) is so fresh it practically pulses in its cellophane wrapper.

Once unfurled and bitten into, the dried seaweed exterior cracks to reveal perfect grains of lightly salted rice and sweet, saucy kombu threads, or a nugget of pink salmon flakes.

If Little Spot's revelatory breakfast whets your Japanese food needs, note that reasonably priced nigiri, rolls, and clam-laced miso soup are offered Tuesday through Friday evenings.

The Little Spot Café, 1199 S. Van Ness Ave. (at 23rd St.); 415-550-1800
WATCH A Video Tutorial on How to Make Onigiri
 
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This new restaurant from the people behind Spruce opens for dinner tonight in Cow Hollow (at 2000 Union St.; 415-563-7700). The space is big (200 seats), the design haute (real gas lamps) and the food profoundly French (rillettes, skate grenobloise, raw bar). Eventually, the brasserie will be open all day.
 
 
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