Futaba Japanese Restaurant in Northridge
I came across this obscure location through the recommendation of my sister-in-law. It is in the former location of E & E Café, in Northridge(to those of you who long for the good old days of their curries), northeast corner of Nordoff & Reseda, which housed California Chicken Café, Yoshinoya, and Panda Express (above this fast food establishment).
We have been there twice and both times we were the only customers. I really want to them to do good, as the noodles dish are good, and a good alternative to Nippon Ramen and Small Island in WSFV. Twice I tried the Okinawa Souki Soba (1st picture), it is not buckwheat, the noodles have a circular cross section, more like udon. Souki or Soki, I believe is the short ribs in the noodle. I really enjoyed this dish, as the meat was tender, and the soup light
They also offer Tonkotsu ramen(2nd picture) besides the usual offerings of shoyu, and miso based broth. My wife had the Tonkotsu (Tanmen) ramen, and she enjoyed it. The soup was extremely hot (temperature wise), and the toppings were good. As for the Tonkatsu Don Curry, it was ok. We also tried to sample some side dishes, kara-age (fried chicken, tender not battered as some other places, but pricey for $8.50). Beef Tongue (3rd picture), was a hit or miss, depending on the thickness of the cut. We have told the owner that he should cut them thinner and seared it quickly, it would then be perfect. Steamed Shiumai is so so.
On both occasions, Mr. Isao Hatano, spent some time to talk with us. We talked longer the 2nd time as he sat down to chit chat, and shared that he knows most of the Japanese sushi owners/chefs all over Los Angeles. Mr. Hatano used to operate ‘Hatano’ on Parthenia/Shirley Ave, next to the theater, which are no longer there, (theater and restaurant).
I hope he will do good as CSUN is opening soon for the Fall semester. I even hinted to him to offer student discount as what E & E Café used to do for CSUN students.
Overall, I hope he makes it. The prices are a bit high, with most dishes a couple of dollars more than similar offerings in other places. I do not consider it a dining destination, but if you are in the area, please give it a try. The whole staff is very pleasant.
Futaba Japanese Restaurant
18429 Nordoff Street, Suite D
Northridge, CA 91325
818 – 886-2285
Please call for hours, I was there on a Sunday and Wednesday nights. For now, lunch only on weekdays.
Even though we have tried Hatano, in the past, we could hardly recalled his menu. So I phoned my sister-in-law, and she commented that it's totally different, she mentioned that Futaba, does not offer Combo deals or sushi at all, which Hatano used to have.
Mr. Hatano, is very accomodating, when I mentioned that Tsukemen being offered by Tsujita is gaining popularity now in LA, he said that he will do that for me. I am not sure what he exactly meant, as that is a different broth from Tonkotsu, but I guess he will just separate the noodles from the broth. As Tsukemen means dipping noodles.
Anyway, pay him a visit, and talk about the good old days. He may prepare something you liked in the past from Hatano, as long as he has the ingredients on hand.
Have fun and enjoy.
We visited the restaurant again this past Sunday, and during our meal, the wife came over to tell us that she is taking over the kitchen. She asked us if we are free to come the next day to try the new menu.
Three of us came, and tried the new menu. The kara-age ($6.50), a little battered than the one we had on our first visit. It was good and cheaper by $2. The roast pork ($6.50. picture #1), was good, but the skin was not crackling. Mostly lean meat with a little fat only, and we all enjoyed it. We also tried the Tonkotsu Ramen ($7.75, picture #2 by itself), and with combo karashi mentai bowl ($13.25), we all felt the karashi mentai(spicy cod roe,pinkish instead of being reddish) was very salty, had to eat a lot of rice with it. Another combo, was with teriyaki chicken, and we are enjoyed the flavor.
We all wish this mom & pop establishment will make it, as they are really trying to be a part of Northridge casual dining spot.