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Matsutake at Yuba

TomSwift | Oct 10, 2003 02:26 PM

Last night our group of 4 went to Yuba on Pico. I had just seen fresh Matsutake mushrooms at the SM farmers' market on Wednesday ($44/lb) so I was delighted to see a special of Matsutake Soba ($12.95). This was the standout of the meal. I would judge one entire medium-sized mushroom, sliced, in the broth. And that broth! Dark, infused with the essence of the mushrooms, and unbelievably flavorful. I was surprised that it wasn't overly salty. The soba had picked up the mushroom flavor and was so good. I ate until I was ready to burst. The rest of the meal: broiled whole squid (delicious, with a nice char and chew; the sauce was delicious poured over a side of rice). Pan fried tofu, dusted with panko (a sauce fortunately not too sweet for me, and the tofu was medium firm and had a nice texture with the crumbs, and was very tasty). Yamakake that was a surprise: instead of grated yam, the tuna was served with matchsticks of yam and okra, with a (I think) sauce of ponzu and sesame oil. Very good but not what I expected. An udon dish which I failed to note, but these were some of the best udon I've tasted - silken but with a very nice chew. Katsu don, fried chicken over rice. It looked pretty uninspiring to me but my friend loved it (I didn't taste). Tempura (asperagus, shiso, yam, eggplant, shrimp) that was devoured quickly. The shiso was delicious. Oshinko, 6 different varieties of Japanese pickles, provided a nice crunchy texture contrast to the udon and soba. A tremendously satisfying meal.

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