Is Yabu the best soba restaurant in Los Angeles? That would be quite a claim for a city that has more than a few soba restaurants! But in my neighborhood, Yabu is one of my favorites.
Yabu hand makes their soba noodles every day. The menu features soba, in both hot and cold preparations, as well as udon and rice. They also offer grilled and fried dishes, as well as my favorite kind of sushi, mackerel oshi the sushi.
What to Eat at the Best Soba Restaurant
We tried a little bit of everything at Yabu.
Grilled Duck and Green Onion Hot Soba
Zaru Soba, pictured at the top, is a presentation of cold soba noodles and nori seaweed served with a dipping sauce. We also tried Kamu Nanban Soba, soba noodles and grilled duck in a bowl of hot broth.
Chicken Karaage is my all-time favorite interpretations of fried chicken. The dish is made of pieces of dark meat chicken, coated in either rice or regular wheat flour, then deep-fried. Japanese mayonnaise like kewpie, laced with either a little sriracha hot sauce or yuzu, is the best dip.
Siu Mai (Shrimp Dumplings)
Siu mai shrimp dumplings are not the traditional dumplings you get at dim sum. Yabu wraps the shrimp with thin strips of egg omelet.
Tebasaki Chicken Wing
Tsukune is a chicken "meatball," shaped onto a skewer and grilled. This is one of my all-time favorite dishes.
Duck and Green Onion
Negima Chicken (Dark Meat Chicken with Green Onion)
Spicy Hamachi Maki Sushi (Roll)
Mackerel Oshi Sushi
Mackerel and other silver-skinned fish are my favorite kind of fish for sushi and sashimi. Not only are these types of fish generally more sustainable, their flavor is intense and awesome.
Make Soba at Home
If you're up for the challenge of making soba at home, try the following recipes. The soba recipes use packaged soba noodles which you can buy in Asian grocery stores, some major grocery stores like Whole Foods, and online.
- Soba Noodle Salad (chilled)
- Spicy Soba Noodle Salad
- Soba Noodles with Miso Tahini Sauce
- Ginger Scallion Chicken Meatballs and Soba Noodle Soup
11820 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
update: the West Hollywood location at 521 La Cienega Blvd is closed
originally published September 2011, updated August 2022
hi Sarah, I love your blog! Wanted to ask your expert opinion on where to take out of town guys to a great, unpretentious meal (can be expensive though) by the beach in LA that will showcase the city's culinary expertise?
rachel: if it's ok to be *near* the beach, but not necessarily *on* the beach, try either Tasting Kitchen or Gjelina in Venice!
both look really good Sarah, thanks for the recommendations!
udon noodle recipes says
I have been tempted to start making noodles at home but have been so intimidated. I am not good with baking and my attempts at other homemade dough type things like green onion pancake, roti, etc have been utter flops. I love you video and I think you have inspired me to try these udon noodles at home! Wish me luck!