Made it to Hinotez tonight and was very, very pleased. I am happy to say that we FINALLY have a good udon place!
Hinotez is the Zen version of Yakyudori Ramen and Yakitori. Soothing, mellow Japanese music with dark wood decor and no posters, flyers and/or signs on the wall.
They have ramen, hot and cold udon, hot and cold soba, rice bowls, a small selection of appetizers, 4 sushi rolls (CA, Philadelphia, shrimp and Hinotez) and ice cream.
Ramen options are very similar, if not the same as the Convoy location with the addition of tonkatsu ramen. Udon/Soba versions are a "build your own bowl" style, with a base price for plain udon or soba, then extra for whatever you want on top of it.
I had the hot udon w/ mountain potato, chopped okra, wakame and karaage. Very, very good! Nice, clear but flavorful broth that arrived at the perfect temperature. Hot but not scaldingly so. My udon was covered in my toppings which were all very good. The chopped okra looks like a pile of chopped tomatillos but with the thicker texture of guacamole and added a nice "fresh" bite to the bowl. Noodles were well-cooked, with a nice tooth pull to them.
I am looking forward to warmer weather and trying to recreate the cold natto soba that I had in Honolulu!
Was too full to try anything else, but will be going back later this week for sure!
Open for lunch and dinner.