The answer is 15 characters, with each letter appearing only once. Pretending that Japantown was listed as the first area, and that Japanese food such as sushi or wasabi was listed for letter b, then the first letter in the final answer would be b. For example, the 15 characters might look like this: bfmjkdalhcegnio
Yes you may use google again! (sigh)
Caldou, chicken yassa and thieboudienne are dishes from Senegal, so the first letter in the answer is the letter j.