The first visit to Soba Sojibo was soon after the opening in 2012. The main dining area of the restaurant is not huge, but there are tatami sections on the side. The décor is simple – minimalist; but the overall feeling is spacious, clean, comfortable. That first time we were there, some representatives from Japan came to do some sort of taste test/survey for these various pastries from Japan, so we got an extra treat in addition to our appetizing meal.
The soba (buckwheat noodle) here is handmade, and the texture and taste reflect the freshness of the noodle. I usually order the Cold Sansai Tororo Soba which is a soba topped with a variety of mountain vegetables and grated mountain yam, and perhaps order a side of the Takikomi Gohan (rice cooked with dashi and soy sauce with small bits of vegetables) , or the Onigiri (rice balls). The soba is distinctly one of the best I’ve had. The texture is slightly chewy, and along with the graininess of the buckwheat, one can almost picture the soba chef methodically making the noodles.
The soba-tsuyu (dipping sauce) is not overly salty and comes in a little ceramic container that one can pour with. The assorted mountain vegetables are mildly flavored, and the grated mountain yam is extra foamy and slimy. I would mix all the delicate ingredients together with the noodles, add a big glob of wasabi, pour in ample amount of the sauce, and once inside the mouth, it becomes a gentle explosion of intriguing flavors and textures.
I like the slight stickiness of the grains and the light taste of the mixed rice in the small bowl of Takikomi Gohan. The Onigiri is soft, simple and fresh. I don’t particularly enjoy the small complimentary dish of fried soba noodle pieces, it was too dry and bland, even for my palate.
Soba Sojibo: 1757 West Carson St. Torrance, CA 90501 Phone: (310) 782-7356