Dah’s Caffe is marked by an architectural and engineering oddity: a giant circular air vent rising up from the Sennichimae Subway Line onto the street. On first glance its purpose, and ugliness, are obfuscated by a mosaic of amber tiles. The vent makes its presence felt in the cafe; one wall curves around it to accommodate the structure. But, happily the only aroma in the air at Dah’s is the pungent smell of coffee.

Dah’s is a specialty coffee shop and the interior is full of signs making that obvious: open sacks of beans, a roaster by the door and a high-end LaCimbali espresso maker behind the counter. This is a cafe where the emphasis is on coffee, although owner Yoshiki Kondoh does make room for tea and snacks. There’s not much in the way of seating, only a few stools facing the rounded wall of the vent. But as the decor, fare and ambience combine to give the cafe a not-unintended European flavor, you could take your coffee like the Italians do: standing up and in small cups.

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