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Restaurants & Bars 7

Soba Challenge: The Search Continues at Yabu…

Dommy! | Apr 24, 200605:41 PM

Lately we’ve been on a rabid Japanese kick. I even bought him the cookbook, Washoku: Recipes From The Japanese Home Kitchen. I imaged us cooking great Japanese Meals from it… instead all we’ve managed to get is massive must satisfy NOW cravings which has lead us once again to venture into the Japanese Restaurants in our own back yard. He LOVES Soba, so based of a great rec I got from this board in my last Soba post, we headed down to Yabu on Pico near Barrington.

Located in a small storefront, we walked into a cozy little restaurant with lots of woody Japanese touches. We were asked if we wanted to sit at the Sushi Bar, but since we had Soba on the brain and other warm food, we instead opted for a small table.

We got these pretty much at opening time, 6pm, but there were a couple of young Japanese all around us. We amused them as we (Little Mexican girl and tall Irish dude) tried in vain to make origami chopstick rests.

The waitress came around shortly and we placed our order….

* Fried Oysters: I am still trying to find something to beat R-23’s and sadly these didn’t hit it. However, they were served with an AWESOME tartar sauce and a very interesting Smokey, almost BBQ like sauce…

*Slow Roasted Pork: Another one of my favorite dishes to eat over Japanese sticky rice. This rendition was good, but not as good as the one at Musha, which makes me cry every time I have it.

* Tenzaru Soba: Cold Soba with Tempura: Now this is what we came here for. They proudly proclaim on their menu their freshly made Soba and this was the perfect dish to taste just how good it was. It arrived in a beautiful Presenation. Dipping Sauce with a small tray of excellent condiments. Wasabi, Scallions, grated mountain potato and even a raw quail egg. I took my first dip and it was good, but the Soba tasted and had just about the same texture as any other soba I’ve had. I asked SO what he thought, and he revealed to me that he didn’t like Cold Soba, and this didn’t make me change his mind…

* Duck Soba Soup: No wonder he always orders hot Soba soup, realizing how he didn’t care at ALL for Cold Soba made me rethink my strategy… perhaps then that planned trip (whenever that happens) to Otafuku wasn’t such a good idea, I need to do more homework that is for sure… He happily ate this soup, but also agreed with me on the noodles. Nothing special. Further, he found the broth a bit strong, but not ducky. He much preferred the Soba Broth at Place Yuu on Sawtelle, our current Soba King on the Westside.

And so, after this meal, I decided to grill him more to make sure that the NEXT Soba stop had all that he was asking for… He’s trying to replicate this one noodle he fell in love with from a chef that no longer cooking… Then he said the words that I have been missing all along… “I want Country Soba”… A quick google search had me finding inaka soba,,, THICK Spaghetti like Soba noodles that are hearty…toothsome… and sound absolutely FAB… And so hounds, I leave this review with a challenge for all of you… who serves Inaka Soba? Even better, who makes the best broth? Our search will be guidied by your answer!


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