Akiba (3141 Clement Street), a three-month-old Japanese cafe in San Francisco, focuses on a strange but popular trend from Tokyo: Bread for dessert.
The sweet toast phenomenon is popular in Hong Kong dessert spots around the Bay Area; it's very common to see items like peanut butter toast and toast slathered with sweetened condensed milk. But Akiba is one of few places in San Francisco serving the honey toast box, a hollowed-out half-loaf of bread that's been toasted, drizzled with honey, and filled with sundae accessories like fruit and ice cream. An exercise in sweet patience, the bread is freshly baked to order in about 15 minutes. And when ordered on a busy night, there's a chance that an anime-costumed waitress might bring it to your table.
If a honey toast box feels like too much of an overindulgence, Akiba provides its own creative remix in the form of honey toast fondue: Little stacked squares of bread dusted with powdered sugar, topped with strawberries, and served with melted Belgian chocolate.
The menu here also includes sweet and savory crepes, smoothies and gelato milkshakes, and kakigori — flavored ice pulverized into snow. But nothing here is bigger than a bread box.