Daily, noon-3pm and 5:30pm-10:45pm
6 at Astor Pl.; N, R at 8th St.-NYU; F at Second Ave.
Inhabiting a cozy street-level space that hosted a succession of restaurants in the early 2000s, this noodle house seems set on a long life for itself—and its customers. Handmade, organic, and protein-rich, the tastefully spare restaurant’s buckwheat noodles come hot, in a not-too-salty, soy-sweet broth with a hint of vinegar, or cold, with steaming-hot crisp tempura on the side. The understated, warm mix of light and dark wood, gently turning ceiling fans, and hushed mix of cool jazz and modern crooners welcomes a predominantly Japanese clientele alongside savvy Western slurpers. Soul-soothing Kinoko soba marries three kinds of mushrooms with a smoky, scallion-flavored broth; Kamonasu soba combines delicately fried Japanese eggplant with earthy ground duck and shredded mitsuba, a spicily fresh and aromatic green herb. Furthering the quest for good health and high spirits are the more than 20 sakes—with robust Junmais, light Ginjos, and complex Daiginjos alongside seasonal specialty brews—also said to contain amino acids and to “promote a rosy complexion.”Extra
The Early Bird Tasting Special, available from 5:30 p.m.–7 p.m., offers salad, assorted tempura, chawanmushi (steamed egg custard), hot or cold soba, and green tea ice cream for $19.50.Recommended Dishes
Kinoko soba, $15; kamonasu soba, $18; black sesame pudding, $7