Soba Izakaya Sojibo

Restaurants , Dinner West LA
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Photograph: Victor Leung
Agedashi tofu at Soba Iakaya Sojibo
Photograph: Victor Leung
Soba Iakaya Sojibo
Photograph: Victor Leung
Kamo nanban soba at Soba Iakaya Sojibo
Photograph: Victor Leung
Spicy beef soba at Soba Iakaya Sojibo

Ramen gets all the hype, but soba—Japanese buckwheat noodles served hot or cold—satisfy another, unsung, niche for noodle fanatics. The Japanese chain's second US outpost—the first opened its doors in Torrance last spring—features an open kitchen, L-shaped bar outfitted in red, black and white tiles and red drum-shaped lanterns. Sojibo’s menu is varied, including “Quick Bites” such as fried gobo (burdock root) sticks and an entire section devoted to kushiage (deep-fried, panko-crusted skewers). But the main draw is clearly soba, nutty, housemade noodles. Start simply with zaru soba ($7), cold nori-topped soba appears on a plastic mat with dipping broth that benefits from scallions and wasabi, served alongside. Upgrade with  versions served with jumbo shrimp, sliced duck and, if you’re feeling adventurous, natto (fermented soy beans). Dessert is uncomplicated—choose vanilla, green tea, black sesame, lychee-flavored ice cream by the scoop ($2) or deep-fried, tempura-battered ($5).

Venue name: Soba Izakaya Sojibo
Address: 2006 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles

Opening hours: Mon-Thu 11:30am– 2pm, 5:30–10pm; Fri, Sat 11:30am-2pm, 5:30-11pm; Sun 11:30am-2pm, 5:30-9pm
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