Since Mishima became Yashima and eventually closed down, I’ve been looking for great soba in the Sawtelle slash West LA area. After hearing about Sojibo’s home made soba, I decided to give it a try.
This place has a huge “L” shaped bar, even though they don’t serve sushi, along with regular table seating. For my appetizer, I tried their Tako Wasabi. I think I had the same thing elsewhere but my memory is fading and I can’t remember where. I prefer the traditional Tako-su dish and didn’t care for this dish. The picture is a little misleading in that the container is about the size of a large spoon.
When the waiter came over to collect the unused napkins and chopsticks from the empty seats at my table, he took all of them and left me with nothing. When he brought the Tako appetizer, he never checked to see if I needed chopsticks and left. This is a clear indication that the waiter is brand new to serving.
Next, I tried 2 items from the Kushiage menu list: Asparagus and chicken. Kushi-age are skewered items panko covered and deep-fried. In Japanese, kushi means skewer, and age (pronounced ah-ge) means deep-fried.
Generally speaking, I try to stay away from deep-fried food, even tempura, but because I’ve never had it before, I decided to try it. I asked the waiter what part of the chicken they used, he had to ask the kitchen. I guess nobody ever asked before or it was his first day. He was told that it was chicken thigh, which I love.
But I digress.
And sure enough, the chicken was delicious and hot, but I think I like my asparagus sautéed instead. They give you a choice of dipping sauce, so I picked the Worcestershire wasabi sauce. They must use real wasabi because it was really strong. Maybe a little too strong.
As you can see from the picture above, I got the Zaru Tororo Soba ($8) as my main dish. The actual soba was nothing spectacular and in my opinion, was cooked about 30 seconds too long. The dipping sauce was too sweet and it only came with real wasabi, and no grated radishes or green onions as is customary. The tororo (grind yam) was fresh and tasty but the dipping sauce basically ruined the entire dish.
It’s not all bad news. The hot tea was free. But the water used to make the tea tasted stale, like they need to use a filter for their water. But I’m pretty picky so most people probably won’t notice it.
All in all, I was disappointed with my visit because I was looking for some fantastic soba. However, from the looks of this place, I think it’s probably a nice place to come with a bunch of friends to drink and have some eats too.
2006 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025
Summary : Don't come for the soba but this is probably good place to come with friends to drink and have some eats.