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ian9139 Apr 22, 2009 08:30 PM

So... which restaurant has the best Soba and food in general?

I am basically deciding between Soba-ya, Soba Koh, and Soba Totto. Is there anywhere else worthy of consideration? We are trying to keep our budget to 25 pp. Does Soba Totto cost more than sobaya and koh?

Thanks

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  1. s
    Simon Apr 22, 2009 09:17 PM

    i've never been to Totto

    Soba Koh is far superior to Soba-ya

    (in fact, based on my last visit to Soba-ya a few months ago, it seemed to warrant a Downhill Alert)...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Simon
      p
      Pan Apr 22, 2009 09:30 PM

      I went to Soba-Ya tonight and enjoyed it. I like both Soba-Ya and Soba Koh. I've never been to Totto, either.

      1. re: Simon
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        Lau Apr 25, 2009 07:24 PM

        i agree with Simon i think Soba Koh is far superior to Soba-Ya (fyi i basically only get the cold uni ikura soba although ive tried the hot tempura soba and hot duck soba as well which are good)...i also like their tamago yaki and when they have pumpkin, i always get it (best version ive had in ny)

        here's an old quick review i did:
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3671...

        cant compare to soba totto as i havent had a chance to try it...supposedly 15 East (one of my favorite sushi restaurants) has the best soba as it has the chef from the defunct Honmura An (the prior crown holder for best soba in the city)

        1. re: Lau
          f
          foodwhisperer Apr 26, 2009 11:26 PM

          the uni soba at 15 east is very good and yes its one of the chefs from Hanamura An. I first heard the chef was from Hanamura An in Japan, not NYC, but not sure of that. I like watching them make the soba noodles in front of you at Soba Ya. I think Soba Ya and Soba Koh are pretty much equal. The sliced duck at Soba Koh is amazing. Matsugen's uni soba was excellent, however, the price was obscene

      2. k
        kathryn Apr 22, 2009 09:24 PM

        I had lunch at Soba Totto today and with tax and tip, my lunch set was just about $25pp. My set included grilled eel with shredded egg over white rice, a side salad (radish, fried shallots, greens), a small bowl of soba in broth, and some big chunks of pickled daikon. It does seem quite a bit on the pricey side, although the quality is excellent.

        I'm afraid I can't speak to Sobaya vs. Soba Koh vs. Soba Totto.

        Also, Soba Totto (being run by the Yakitori Toto mini-chain), serves yakitori at dinner time and the yakitori is excellent (but tends to run up the bill, quickly).

        1. k
          kobetobiko Apr 22, 2009 10:46 PM

          If you order just the soba, the soba at Matsugen is very good and within your budget. They also have prix-fixe for lunch and dinner. I do recommend the cold soba over the soba in soup which tends to make the soba too soft

          If you ever find yourself wanting to slurge on soba, then go to 15 East.

          2 Replies
          1. re: kobetobiko
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            silencespeak Apr 23, 2009 06:00 AM

            Yeah, 15 East's soba master is the one from Honmura An. I've met him before, a real nice, humble guy.

            Soba-Ya is where I usually go, tasty and their dishes are generally more affordable than Matsugen.

            1. re: kobetobiko
              i
              ian9139 Apr 23, 2009 07:03 PM

              My problem with Matsugen is that i really want soba w/ uni, which is way way more expensive at Matsugen (it must have so much uni!!)

            2. bigjeff Apr 23, 2009 09:14 AM

              soba totto always ends up more expensive for me but I love the food there (like kathryn said, you just want to order all the apps and takitori and it ends up pricey). i enjoy soba koh better than soba-ya for sure but soba totto is better than both. and, marginally more expensive, say, 25% but worth it.

              1. t
                ttzur Apr 23, 2009 10:29 AM

                friends...what noodles have you all been noodling? Sobaya is by far the best of the three, superior noodles in texture, composition and made using only the traditional methods. i would not hesitate for a moment

                2 Replies
                1. re: ttzur
                  s
                  small h Apr 23, 2009 10:47 AM

                  Strongly disagree. I had one aggressively mediocre meal at Sobaya and never returned. Soba Koh, on the other hand, has provided a consistently lovely experience on my 5 or 6 visits. Soba Koh's noodles are world's better than at Sobaya, where they were mushy and the grated yam tasted gross - off, somehow, fermented, almost. It's possible I was at Sobaya on an "off" day, but I doubt it. Sobaya's menu is more extensive, signifying that they don't specialize the way Soba Koh does, and I think that makes a difference.

                  And if Sobaya uses "only the traditional methods," then what does Soba Koh use? That guy in the window stretching dough looks pretty damn traditional to me. Last but not least, Soba Koh is cheaper.

                  1. re: small h
                    s
                    Simon Apr 23, 2009 11:40 AM

                    my lunch at Sobaya last fall was just as smallh described his/her meal: aggressively mediocre...the noodles were overcooked, etc...while it's never been one of my fav places, i had had decent meals there in the past, so i was a bit surprised by how lousy the meal was...

                2. i
                  ian9139 Apr 23, 2009 12:38 PM

                  Thanks all!
                  I am probably leaning towards Soba Koh, maybe Soba totto. Matsugen looks a little expensive.

                  I will make it to 15 East soon, aiming to split a soba dinner and then some omakase nigiri, but that will obviously cost much more.

                  1. i
                    ian9139 Apr 23, 2009 06:53 PM

                    Throwing in another twist--

                    Are we better off skipping soba and going to Yakitori Totto, Torys, or Sakagura. Sakagura looks really appealing for some reason. Is the food really good, or do people just like the Sake?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: ian9139
                      bigjeff Apr 23, 2009 08:30 PM

                      soba totto has a fine selection of yakitori so if you change your mind, you'll be covered both ways.

                      1. re: bigjeff
                        k
                        kathryn Apr 23, 2009 09:35 PM

                        Just make sure you are going for dinner, not lunch, and the earlier the better because they run out of the special stuff fast.

                      2. re: ian9139
                        b
                        baobao Apr 25, 2009 04:57 AM

                        Sakagura has great food and is perfect for sharing a bunch of plates... almost everything we ordered was delicious. Great ambiance too! (Gotta love the hidden bathroom, heh.)

                      3. guttergourmet Apr 24, 2009 08:40 AM

                        Soba Koh but haven't been to Soba-ya. I just posted that 15 east is even better as it reminded me of Honmura An (which was my former #1 and as posted above there's a chef connection.

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