Showing posts with label common grains. Show all posts
Showing posts with label common grains. Show all posts

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

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Common Grains Soba Pop-Up

Have you ever had fresh, hand kneaded, hand cut soba? If not, get to the Common Grains soba pop-up shop at Breadbar while you can, because it is nothing like other soba you've ever had.

Sonoko Sakai is one of LA's soba masters, but you'd normally only be able to taste her soba if you take one of her soba making classes (which I have and highly recommend). Now, as part of a Japanese educational program, Common Grains, she and another soba chef, Mutsuko Soma are serving up soba at BreadBar in Century City until January 22.

Juuwari Soba
The soba here is made with 80% buckwheat flour (organically grown and stone-milled) and 20% wheat flour, but you can also try the Juwari soba made with 100% buckwheat flour. Kneading pure buckwheat flour without no binder is that much harder, trust me.

I recommend trying either the zaru soba ($12) or juwari soba ($13.50, pictured above) so you can fully taste just how much better the soba is here, but understandably it is still cold out and you might want a bowl of something warm. Get one of the seiro soba, served with a bowl of warm soup that you can dip your soba into.
Pork Seiro Soba

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Of Rice and Soba: "Common Grains", An Upcoming Delicious Education Program

Know what makes good food even better? Insight into the culture and what goes into its making. The upcoming Common Grains events will provide just that for Japanese grains, including Japanese rice and soba.

The Common Grains program will kick off with an onigiri making contest at the Japanese American National Museum’s annual Oshogatsu festival. The contest is part of the museum’s New Year celebration of the Year of the Dragon.
Japanese American National Museum, 369 E. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Sunday, Jan 8, 2012. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Then, you can try delicious artisanal soba at the Common Grains Soba Pop-Up Restaurant and Sake Bar at BREADBAR Century City.
These aren't your run of the mill soba, but one made by artisan soba makers Sonoko Sakai and Mutsuko Soma. The soba is hand made using freshly stoned and milled buckwheat. I've participated in Sonoko's soba making class before, and trust me, her soba is nothing like you've ever had before (unless you've had them in Japan).
BREADBAR Century City, 10520 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90067. 
Tuesday, Jan 10 – Thursday, Jan 19, 2012. 5-10 p.m.

After having her soba, you're going to want to make them yourselves. Well, you can attend the Common Grains Artisan Soba Demonstration and Tasting at Mitsuwa Marketplace, where guests will also have the opportunity to purchase fresh soba and homemade dipping sauces that can be prepared at home.
Mitsuwa Marketplace, 21515 S. Western Ave., Torrance, CA 90501
Thursday, January 26, 2012 – Sunday, January 29, 2012, demonstrations at 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.
No cost to attend the soba demonstration, $18 for fresh soba for two with homemade dipping sauces

There's also the Soba and Rice Workshops at Tortoise General Store
The workshops will showcase different preparations of rice and soba for guests to learn how to cook healthy, simple Japanese meals at home.
Tortoise General Store1208 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291
The workshops will take place on multiple dates:
Saturday, Jan 21, 2012 / Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 / Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 / Sunday, Feb 19, 2012. 
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
COST: $65 pp for the two-hour workshops
RSVP to Tortoise General Store at 310.314.8448

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