Pepper Lunch is a Japanese fast food chain serving a good chunk of Japan, a good chunk of Asia otherwise, and one lone shop in Milpitas, California, USA. I’d somehow completely overlooked the Akihabara branch right next to one of the three or four Sega arcades in the area, but thanks to a friend and his trusty smartphone-plus-data-plan, I finally had the opportunity to visit one of the chain’s Japanese shops for a quick dinner.
Above is the large version of their signature menu item, the Pepper Rice plate (780 yen), served on a sizzling platter that cooks your dish and keeps it hot. In America, there’s far more meat on the perimeter than what you see here, but I actually don’t mind having less meat — the rice is far more flavorful than I remember it. One might say they definitely put more pepper into the Japanese pepper rice.
By the way, those familiar with the Milpitas Pepper Lunch branch: you know that special sauce? There are two varieties in Japan: sweet (which the US has), and spicy (which the US doesn’t have). The spicy sauce’s spice is just barely within my limit. (For reference, I can’t handle too much spice.) ◆