Tofu and racing don’t have much in common. But in the racing world, the two have an iconic relationship found in the legendary manga and anime series Initial D.
The Fujiwara Tofu Café located in El Monte, CA, is inspired by the Fujiwara Tofu Shop from Initial D owned by Bunta Fujiwara and serves up a range of tofu pudding, special drinks, teas, and bottled soy milk.
Inside, the store has a full replica of the Fujiwara Tofu Shop signage from the series. Along the right wall are two self order kiosks to place in-store or takeaway orders.
Special drinks are inspired by racing teams like the Red Suns, Impact Blue, and Speed Stars. I ordered the Speed Stars ($6.86), which was a great blend of soy milk, tofu, caramel, and chestnut boba. For takeaway I ordered a bottle of Fujiwara Black Sesame Soy Milk ($4.86) that had a light taste of black sesame in traditional sweetened soy milk.
Each drink and bottle includes a collectible plastic package with the Fujiwara Tofu Café logo in vertical print. In the winter, customers can purchase a limited edition holiday cup that includes an image of the Takumi Fujiwara’s Toyota Trueno.
In addition to snacks and drinks, the store holds two Initial D Stage 3 arcade machines flanked side-by-side (though both were out of order), and a range of hoodies and sweatshirts with the store logo and manga art.
On certain days customers may find the store owner’s Toyota Trueno AE86 parked outside next to other car enthusiasts in view of the store’s neon sign, “Everything Starts With A Dream”.
Fujiwara Tofu Café is located at 9216 Flair Drive in El Monte, CA.