The Spot: Fujiya Market, Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
See Also: - La Tolteca in Phoenix: What We Bought, What We Skipped and What We're Still Lusting Over - Chef German Sega of Roka Akor on the Art of Omakase and What You Should Know About Japanese Food - Artisan-Minded Eatery and Market Coming to Camelback Corridor
What We Bought: Tempe-area Japanophiles can get their foodie fix fulfilled at the small, modest market on the southeast corner of Priest and University drives called Fujiya. Fresh yakisoba noodles ($2.79), cheap panko bread crumbs ($1.19), and an array of miso soup packets ($1.99/ 3-pack) in different flavors and styles are some must-get items to stock your pantry. For once, we were even convinced to buy freeze-dried package ramen. In our defense, this higher-class Maruchan comes in authentic flavors like Tonkotsu ($2.29).
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After you've finished shopping, the little hole-in-the-wall Tokyo Stop restaurant next door is a great, quick Japanese food option. Chili yakisoba and teriyaki meat or veggie lunch boxes will definitely fill you up for under $7. Plus, the authentic cuisine will teach you a thing or two about how to use your newly acquired ingredients. Win-win!
What We Skipped: While we usually harp on the squid crisps and other seafood snacks in Asian markets, dried shiitake mushrooms ($2.39) get the dubious honor this time around. We also passed right by the "seasoned plums," only because we really weren't sure what they were seasoned with and figured it could very likely be one of those delicacy items that we just wouldn't get. Finally, we skipped the Japanese- language magazine rack, which included a bunch of what looked like anime and teeny-bopper rags. There's nothing wrong with that, we just need to brush up on our Japanese first.
What We're Still Lusting Over: Oh, sweet paisley teapot. You're pink and green and yellow and cute. Your bamboo wooden handle is just too much. How have you not been bought yet? As the only teapot in the joint and an adorable one at that, we would assume you'd have disappeared a long time ago. After much inspection, your lack of price tag reveals the truth -- no one knows how much you are, so no one wants to buy you. Don't be so mysterious, teapot! Aside from all that silliness, we also really want the nearly $6 package of miso paste, but we'll stick with the super-cheap packets for now.