Who would guess this elegant restaurant is a humble Japanese noodle shop? This East Village spot offers hot and cold assemblages featuring either udon (gluey wheat noodles) or soba (buckwheat noodles, almost a religion in Japan); you can even see the homemade noodles being cut at the front of the restaurant. All the soup combinations sampled were excellent, including curried chicken with soba and udon with a mushroomy vegetable melange. There are also irresistible appetizers like homemade shumai, tempura by the piece, and, lost in the extensive sake menu, a bar snack of raw baby squid marinated in a fragrant dark liquid.
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