Diablo Magazine | The Art of Oakland's Soba Ichi
The Bay Area is dotted with innumerable standout Japanese joints offering familiar favorites such as ramen, sushi, bento, yakitori, and matcha. But one dish has largely been left out of the mix: soba.
Made from buckwheat and water, soba noodles are prepared two ways: hot in a dashi broth, or cold with a dipping sauce. The dish—which is served at birthdays and weddings, on New Year’s, and even given as a going-away present—is as popular and beloved in Japan as pizza and hamburgers are in the United States.
“In Japan, soba shops are as common as convenience stores are here,” says chef Koichi Ishii of Soba Ichi, which opened in June. The restaurant is the first in the Bay Area—and one of the very few in the country—to serve authentic, house-made soba.