Pork Shabu Soba ($10.50)
Thin sliced pork with grated daikon radish and slivers of scallion and shiso (Japanese basil). We opted to upgrade to the sesame broth for an extra buck, but this was actually the most disappointing bowl, flavorwise.
Made with a combination of buckwheat and regular white wheat, the noodles here are pretty awesome. Firm, bouncy, and wheaty, without the mealiness or the cracking that generally plague soba.
Grinding Sesame Seeds
Some bowls (the dump-and-stir style) come with a miniature mortar and pestle so you can grind toasted sesame seeds right before pouring them on your noodles, maximizing their flavor.
Natto Soba ($8.50)
Salty, stinky fermented soy beans are an acquired taste, but a bowl of great noodles with fresh crunchies like cucumber and pickled daikon are an easy way to acquire it. It comes with a soft poached egg and a pitcher of broth so you can season as desired before stirring it all together into one tasty salad.
Ready To Stir
The natto soba, ready to stir.
Stamina Soba ($8.80)
A "dip" style soba, the broth is rich and intensely porky with bits of ground pork, a meatball, slices of pork loin and mushrooms. Our friendly waitress warns us not to dip our noodles in the broth for more than five to ten seconds, lest we cool the broth or soften the noodles too far.
The meal concludes with a pitcher of hot water, meant for diluting the broth to be drank as "a delicious soup drink," said our adorable waitress.
Really Great Soba
Firm and slightly chewy, like all great noodles should be.
The restaurant offers friendly instructions during each stage of the meal for those unfamiliar with the customs of eating soba, all in friendly, and frankly hilarious Japanglish.