Sunday, February 19, 2012

Soba-Ya + Common Grains Soba Pop-up (Torrance, CA)

After having Sonoko Sakai's hand cut soba at her soba making class and the Common Grains pop-up at BreadBar, I just had to have them again. Luckily, Common Grains is doing another pop-up at Soba-Ya in Torrance until February 21!

It seems a bit funny for me - a soba pop-up at a soba restaurant, but Soba-Ya, who also makes their own soba (but doesn't hand cut them, it's not a scalable operation) is newly opened and is eager to work with Common Grains. There are only two of Sonoko's handcut soba on the special menu, so we also ordered some of Soba-Ya's soba.

One of the handcut soba option is the Teuchi Arabiki Soba with soy bonito dipping sauce and pecan dipping sauce ($12) - a cold soba with two dipping sauces. I've had the pecan dipping sauce during my soba making class with Sonoko. It was excellent and I highly recommend trying it, but since I've had it I decided to try the other dish:
Premium Mushroom Seiro Soba, white truffle oil, bonito dipping sauce ($16)


The truffle oil smell is light. The hand cut soba slippery and chewy. As always, just really, really good.

All tables get a small bowl of fried soba "chips" to snack on.

I ran into Food GPS and we all sat together and shared some appetizers.
Agedashi Tofu
Agedashi tofu

Chicken Karaage was crispy and tender
Chicken Karaage

Tamagoyaki, made fresh to order. Not as good as Torafuku's but still good.

Since it was such a cold night, I keep eyeing the soba with the hot broth.
Ebi Tempura Soba ($12)
Tempura Soba

Kamo Nanban Soba ($12) - homemade soba in duck with hot broth

The broth hits the spot on a cold night, with generous slices of duck. The soba is not as chewy as the hand cut one, but still good soba nonetheless. It's hard enough to find handmade soba in LA, even when they are not hand cut.

You can also get the duck as a dipping broth with the Kamo Seiro Soba ($12)

I don't think it would be fair for me to rate Soba-Ya right after having the hand cut soba for the Common Grains pop-up. Even the Soba-Ya owner tells us just how special hand cut soba is! Still, Soba-Ya's handmade soba might be better than any soba north of Torrance and I'll be trying them on its own. In the meantime, though, until February 21 you can try the very special hand cut soba. Do it while you still have the chance.

1757 W Carson Street Suites R and S
Torrance, CA 90501


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