This time I was more prepared and focused. I knew what I was looking for, and I also knew what I didn't need. But I still bought a few things that were ridiculous, just because I could. :-)
Today's bento uses a few of the new things I picked up while in SF Japantown. I have this new blue bento box (magic round bento!) from Ichiban Kan that was on sale for 50 cents! The chopsticks are from Daiso, the tomato pick is from Ichiban Kan, and the cherry stem pick is from Sanko Cooking Supply (Sanko is WILDLY expensive, but it was the only place I found these picks and I was dying to get some after seeing them on Sheri's Happy Little Bento blog). Oh, and the quail egg is from Nijiya Market (my first time trying quail eggs!).
The top of the bento box has three little monkeys on it and it says, "Do you like living here? Yes, it's great!" In this bento lunch: a biscuit filled with ham and spices, caprese salad in a silicone cup, cucumber slices (from Ridgeview Farms), two cherry tomatoes on a cherry stem pick, steamed romano beans from Cresent Moon Farms, a hard boiled quail egg, and a bit of arugula from Ridgeview Farms.
I got the idea for the quail egg little guy from a book that I picked up at Kinokuniya Stationery. A little wedge cut makes his mouth, and his eyes are black sesame seeds. I'll post pictures of the bento book soon. It's all in Japanese, so I can't read it, but the photos and ideas are great!
Here are some of the picks I got at Ichiban Kan. I was so excited to see the tree picks after seeing them used in a bento made by Shannon of What's For Lunch At Our House. I think I will have to borrow that idea because those grapes looked so cute!
I didn't take as many pictures as I should have while in SF Japantown, but here are a few of the places I visited. Above is a selection of the bento supplies available at Daiso.
This is at the Sanrio store where I actually showed some restraint. I know! I was amazed at myself, too. :-)
I did pick up a bento box with Kuromi on the front. The sales clerk at Sanrio said that Kuromi is more popular with U.S. customers than Japanese customers, and that is why their selection is so large in the San Francisco store.
I have so much more to share from my trip to SF Japantown. I am sure you will see lots of new stuff in the weeks to come on Sonoma Bento. And... I got some fun stuff for a giveaway. Stay tuned!
How to Boil Quail Eggs
Rinse quail eggs in warm water to remove any dirt or feathers from the shells. Fill a small pot with water and about 2 or 3 tablespoons of vinegar. Add quail eggs and bring water to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then remove pan from heat and take it to the sink. Run cold water into the pan and gradually pour out the hot water. Allow eggs to cool then gently peel. The vinegar should make it easier to remove the shells.