I don't know... maybe I'm just more of a egg noodle guy.
Inspired by the news in the New York Times last Wednesday that right now is peak buckwheat season (who knew there was such a thing?), DGlass and I decided to slurp some soba Saturday evening at reputedly the best source in town, Soba Koh, a small neighborhood spot—notable for its soba-making glass booth that faces the sidewalk—on 5th Street between 2nd and 1st Avenues. And, yes, for two bowls of buckwheat, these were pretty much top of the line.
I had cold soba slathered with a sticky mound of salmon roe and finished with an intense puree of Japanese radish. Everything was as fresh and as flavorful as I could have hoped for. DGlass opted for the hot soba, in a broth, topped with a tempura'ed soft shell crab, and called it "surprisingly delicious". We also split a generous and somewhat exotic side order of vegetable tempura, which included okra, eggplant, lotus root, and was about as light and non-greasy as tempura gets... which, unfortunately, is still a little too fried for my delicate stomach.
Soba Koh has been around for a little more than a year, and although it's not inexpensive (our noodle dishes were each over $15), this is clearly the place for soba lovers. Me? Next time I think I'll head on up to Momofuku for some ramen.