No ordinary soba shop, this is the Tokyo venture of restaurateur Koichi Kobari, who ran the highly acclaimed, celebrity-patronized Honmura-An restaurant in New York's SoHo district before returning to Japan. We're pleased to see that Kobari hasn't lost his magic touch. Of course the shop's noodles and tempura items are first-rate, but you'll also find original, creative side dishes and starters along with a decent selection of craft sake and shochu.
It's fun to come with a group and order an array of small dishes, izakaya-style - the seasonal menu ranges from traditional fare like yuba (tofu skin) with sea urchin and grilled fu (wheat gluten) to avocado salad. If you're feeling extravagant you can call in advance to order a special tasting menu (from Y5000 per person), or you can just stick with a plate of soba or udon noodles (Y800-2000); the sesame dipping sauce is especially recommended. The decor is modern and very tasteful; the attitude is friendly and unpretentious. English menus are available.
This book will introduce you to more than twenty of Japan's favorite specialty foods that are less well known abroad, along with a guide to the best places in Tokyo to try them and expert tips on what to order. From Bento.com.