Some poking around on the internet led me to Yaya Tea Garden on Tuesday. This is kind of dumb, but part of the reason I went was because they accept cards and I didn't feel like getting cash. Unsurprisingly, there was a $10 minimum on cards, so I got a lot food so I could meet the minimum, which is kind of a bummer but also kind of a good thing because that means the food is cheap.
This sandwich sounded so weird that I had to get it. It's the "Japanese Sandwich" which means there's turkey, hard boiled eggs, imitation crab, and that seaweed salad. It was actually really good! But here's the thing, I'm not sure if I thought it was good because I was expecting it to be weird, or if I actually liked it for what it was. I think it was probably a little bit of both. Anyway, sandwiches here are cheap, under $6. I had to get a "large" onigiri rice ball to make up the $10. I put large in quotes because it was way huger than "large" implies.
This tastes exactly what you'd expect it to taste like, but you just don't imagine that it would actually be good--salty turkey, sweet fake crab, slippery, crunchy seaweed, and cool egg slices all tucked inside really squishy bread. The first half was great, but the second half was a little bit of a challenge. Not only was I full already, but it sweetness started to get a little overwhelming. I'd get it again, but I would have to split it with someone. But I feel like Japanese/Korean interpretations of a sandwich are always kind of like that. The sandwiches I tried when I was in Korea were a little sweet too.
Or maybe slather it in one of these sauces: wasabi mayo, sriracha, and what I'm pretty sure is mayo-ed down sriracha. And thousand island dressing??
I want to go back to try their rice and noodle plates (also under $6!) but also, so I can buy some of the snacks! They have such a huge variety of them that I've never seen (maybe I'm not exploring Chinatown hard enough) and they look so pretty on that wall. I think the key is to go at non-school hours. There were way too many high school kids in there and I started to feel weird and surrounded. Teenagers are loud.