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A decade and a half after this elegant noodle shop became famous as Dodger ace Hideo Nomo's favorite hideout, the still-unmarked (at least in English) restaurant is as good as ever. Udon noodles come in all the standard flavors: topped with crisp buttons of tempura batter in a plain soy-enriched broth, or with chewy bits of rice cake, or with exquisitely slimy Japanese mountain yams. Yuki-nabe udon - served in a rustic-looking iron kettle and buried beneath half an inch of grated daikon, a sprinkling of grated wasabi and a ferociously spiced cod-egg sac - is refreshing in spite of its bulk, an exotic bowl you could eat every day. At lunch, come early for the infamous sanuki bento, a multicourse banquet served in a lacquered box, and a testament to Japanese engineering: I have seen buffet tables with less food on them.
Q: I’ve been to Yabu and the little noodle shop in the Mitsuya supermarket on Centinela at Venice Boulevard, but I am still in search of the ultimate soba joint. —C. Evans A: Soba may be the ultimate Japanese noodle: moistly crunchy groats... More »
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