Chocolate cake, cheesecake, shortcake? She’s got it. Though owner, Lisa Kuriyama, specializes in wedding cakes, birthday cakes, and corporate events (for such companies as Lexus, YouTube and Google), her shop runs the gamut from cakes to tarts to cookies and other pastries.
I see the shop all the time, biking past its chalkboard sign advertising seasonal specials in a mix of the Japanese syllabaries and English lettering. It waves for your attention from beneath the vertically black and white striped awning. One late afternoon, I pulled the door open to step into the shop, with standing room for maybe three before the counter and refrigerated display case showcasing elegance. The walls are lined with display cakes. On the other side of the counter, the giggling ladies were busy prepping the next batches of sweets to enter the case or to fill orders. They greeted me “Irasshaimase!”
I can’t explain why not cake, but on my first visit I left with a blueberry muffin, crisscrossed with a white glaze with a sprinkling of pistachio in the center. I also took in tote a bag of granola. I honestly didn’t care much for the granola, but after warming my muffin a bit, softening it’s butter-rich insides, Oishii!
Like many other shops in Japan, they take great care to package the confections in such a way that will preserve their form, using such contraptions as twist ties, stickers, boxes, bags, and ice packs. I’m never fond of the packaging though- only because I have intentions of tearing into whatever I buy, usually moments after walking away. But I can appreciate their pride in their product.
I’ve since returned to the shop many times, drawn in by the opera torte, a crush of mine since having discovered it at the Culinary Institute of America’s Bocuse d’Or reception. It’s French conception most easily compared to tiramisu but its layers of almond sponge cake (or jaconde) soaked in espresso, layered with ganache and buttercream. The buttercream in Lisa’s torte has a pleasantly hazelnut, brown-buttery tone and flavor.
Jeremy from the Happenings on Halsey album on Facebook @ChefTasteBud likes her scones, right out of the oven, (at 10 in the morning).
But we’re getting away from short and sweet. I’ll be back with more next week here on ChefTasteBud.com . Stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter @ChefTasteBud.
Open Wed-Sun from 10am to 7pm