Showing posts with label soba. Show all posts
Showing posts with label soba. Show all posts

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

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Your Summer Asian Staycation: The Cold Noodle Roundup

For most Asian countries, the quintessential summer dish comes in the form of a cold noodle dish. From buckwheat to spinach noodles, from fish paste to cold beef broth, slurping these noodles cools down the sweat on your back. Being the melting pot of many ethnicities, the Los Angeles area is an ethnic dining haven which offers these summer noodle dishes – sometimes year round. Don't let recession stop you from tasting all over Asia. With dishes $8 or under, the only expense you need to worry about is gas.

1. Japan: Zaru Soba

1618 Cravens Ave
Torrance, CA 90501
(310) 328-1323

The best place for soba in the area at the moment is probably Ichimiann. This small shop just off of the downtown of Torrance hand makes their soba and udon noodles. A couple of tables are available, but mostly Japanese businessmen would fill up the wooden counter lining the wall. You can get a variety of soba and udon noodle soups, with eel to Japanese sticky yam as an accompaniment. For the summer there’s only one thing to get: zaru soba. The zaru soba is not only a great summer dish, it is also an initiation dish for those new to this buckwheat noodle known as soba. Cold handmade soba is served atop a bamboo tray. A bowl of tsuyu sauce (a mixture of dashi, sweetened soy sauce, and mirin), scallions, and wasabi are provided on the side. Mix in the wasabi and scallions in the sauce, then dip your cool strands of soba in the sauce. This simple dish brings out the resilient texture and flavor of this freshly made soba like no other.

2. Korea: Mul-Naengmyun

Chil Bo Myun Ok
3680 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90189
(213) 387-9292

The Korean naengmyun are delicately thin yet chewy strands of vermicelli noodles made from buckwheat. Mul naengmyun is naengmyun served in a cold beef broth along with julienned vegetables, beef slices, and boiled eggs. At Chil Bo Myun Oak, the mul naengmyun is also served with slices of Korean pear. Despite being a popular Korean summer dish, a good naengmyun is still hard to find. Chil Bo Myun Ok takes so much pride in their naengmyun that the noodles are prohibited from leaving the premises. No to-go orders, no take out, the wonderfully supple and chewy noodles must be enjoyed in their metal bowls inside the restaurant that keeps it cool during your meal. The server will ask if you’d like the noodles cut, scissors ready in his other hand. The answer is yes, you’ll need him to.

3. Vietnam: Bun Thit Nuong

Com Tam Thuan Kieu
120 E Valley Blvd, Ste I & J
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 280-5660

It’s always hot in South East Asia. That’s why you can find bun thit nuong in most Vietnamese places, all year round, but summer is the perfect time to try it. Rice vermicelli is topped with chargrilled pork, julienned carrots, scallions, and crushed peanuts and served at room temperature. Order a bun thit nuong cha gio and you will find sliced egg roll (cha gio) atop your bowl. For a mere $4.99 you will find the top of the bowl generously covered with meat and egg roll. Douse everything in some fish paste and you are ready to go. For the pork lovers and the fish sauce lovers, this one’s for you.

4. China: Cold Noodles with Green Tea Pork and Cold Vegetables

535 W Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 281-1226

At Bamboodles, to keep the dish cold, the plate is served on top of crushed ice to keep it cool throughout your meal. Spinach noodle, as with all other noodles at this restaurant, is made fresh every day. The dough is pounded flat by the chef by bouncing up and down on a bamboo pole – a method developed by a Guangdong noodle chef – and when you’re lucky you can watch him do this through the glass window of the kitchen. The noodles are arranged on a platter with shredded pork cooked in green tea and sliced vegetables. Mix everything in with the sesame sauce served on the side for a cooling and healthy meal.

5. Thailand: Jade Noodle

Sapp Coffee Shop
5183 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90027-6113
(323) 665-1035

This place may be most famous for their Thai boat noodles, but don't skip the jade noodle. The delicate, bright green noodles are served dry with bbq pork, roast duck, , crab, and a sweet ginger sauce. Squeeze the lime and mix everything well with the chili flakes. The lime gives the dish a refreshing sourness but not as strong as the one found in the boat noodles. This bowl lets you appreciate the delicate yet springy noodles themselves.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hot and Soupy #1: Handmade Soba and Udon at Ichimiann (You Never Knew It Could Taste This Good)

I've eaten at Ichimiann so much it's a wonder that I hadn't written about it sooner, but this cold winter weather is the perfect time to start it off as the inaugural post of my "Hot and Soupy" series of posts!

Ichimiann is a place I found through Exile Kiss' blogpost, lauding it as the one amazing teuchi(handmade) soba place in town. I was on a crazy soba kick and wanted to venture further than Yabu.

Ichimiann, aka Bamboo Garden, is a tiny shop on a dilapidated side street right next to Foster's Freeze and looks just like a typical noodle shop.
Cash only, you can place your order and then take a seat at the bar by the wall.

The rite of passage for all soba noobs is the Zaru Soba, so even though it doesn't meet the hot and soupy winter theme, it simply cannot be left unmentioned. Zaru soba gets its name from the bamboo sieve that it is served on and is typically served with tsuyu (a mixture of dashi, sweetened soy sauce, and mirin), scallions, and wasabi.
Mix the scallions and wasabi in the tsuyu, then pick up the buckwheat noodles and dip it in the tsuyu.
This is the dish that best highlights Ichimiann's excellent handmade soba, the wonderful texture and the flavor of the buckwheat noodle itself. The soba here is devoid of that doughy and powdery taste and texture that I always hated in mass produced noodles.

If you want hot soba, however, Ichimiann has plenty of options for you, from a simple bowl with poached egg to many more. The flavors of the broth are subtler here, unlike many places which tend to be salty, but it is ultimately more satisfying and worth savoring.

When you want your protein you could opt for the unagi soba topped with grated yam.
Even though this dish made me realize I'm not big on japanese yam, the rest of the dish was excellent. The unagi is nicely grilled and lends a nice flavor although I did miss the crisp texture of the unagi before it's soaked in broth and yam.

When Exile Kiss did a second post, this time on the udon noodles at Ichimiann, I had to go back and try that too (even if I'm still a soba girl).

A bowl of beef sukiyaki udon seems like the perfect meal for a chilly Saturday morning (ok, afternoon).

Ichimiann's udon is thin, unlike the type you normally see in stores and restaurants.
The sukiyaki udon bowl is bolder in flavor than the other soba dishes that I've had and it really hits the spot. The udon, while thinner than usual, is wonderfully chewy without that doughy consistency.
Ichimiann's subtle but deeply satisfying flavor doesn't leave you overwhelmed and dehydrated like some salty dishes might, but instead it just keeps you satiated all day long.

Ichimian Bamboo Garden
1618 Cravens Ave
Torrance, CA 90501
(310) 328-1323
Ichimian Bamboo Garden on Urbanspoon
Ichimian Bamboo Garden in Los Angeles

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Things to Slurp: Soba!

Right now I prefer soba to, say, ramen or udon, and my favorite place right now is Yabu on Pico! If you guys know other good soba places, please let me know :>
My only gripe about yabu is that they don't have soba with beef or pork (I like my red meat).

This time I ordered the Tori Toji Soba (chicken with eggs).The broth is soo tasty. This time around I didn't find much chicken though, bummer, but everything inside that bowl is so good (organic eggs, chicken, fish cake, green onions). I was mainly going for the eggs anyway. It would be good to have more meat/other things inside though, I think. Maybe tempura.

Their soba is handmade fresh daily (their claim to fame?) and was quite al-dente.

My friend got the broiled black cod, which was also good, but a bit salty. The veggies, especially the mushrooms, go really well with the cod , though.
11820 W. Pico Blvd
W. Los Angeles, CA 90064

Yabu on Urbanspoon

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