My new favorite lunch spot close to work is the kind of new La Capra Coffee. The Financial District and SoMa tend to be short on charm, but La Capra lets you forget that you are buying a weekday lunch to consume in front of your computer like a caged animal. Instead, it feels like weekend playtime in Hayes Valley (La Capra even has fresh beignets starting at 1:30 pm, holy moly, and their decor reminds me a little of 20th Century Cafe in Hayes Valley, another gem of a cafe).
I get lunch at La Capra probably three times a week, and have become single-mindedly fixated on their burrata sandwich (pretty please bring back the asparagus version) and brownie. La Capra's brownie has absolutely no competition in this city, and sadly for me, its secrets are not revealed in the copies of Cooking My Way Back Home on display (La Capra is part of the small empire of San Francisco restaurants that includes Town Hall, Anchor and Hope, and Salt House). Another favorite item, and one that lots of people are always ordering, is the togarashi avocado toast. The Japanese spin on avocado toast is unexpected and, more importantly, deliciously addictive (addictively delicious?) AND, very luckily for us, easy to make at home. Togarashi avocado toast party, 24/7!
Shichimi togarashi sounds very obscure, but really isn't. It's just a Japanese condiment that is a spice powder. You can find it, as well as black sesame seeds, at Asian super markets or the ethnic cooking sections of other grocers (I found my bottle of shichimi togarashi at Whole Foods). Ready, set, togarashi avocado toast!
Togarashi Avocado Toast
Inspired by La Capra Coffee
Salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste
A few dashes of black sesame
Even more dashes of shichimi togarashi
2 slices of your favorite bread
Smash avocado in a small bowl, and season with desired amounts of salt and white pepper. Toast bread. Spread avocado on bread, and top with dashes of black sesame and togarashi.