Worth Every Penny: Soba-Ya’s Lunch Box


To expand on yesterday’s post critiquing Frank Bruni’s article in the Times, “Great Meals for Two, Under $100 (It’s Possible), I’m rolling out a new featurette: Worth Every Penny. Worth Every Penny could be a truly great $5 hot dog with fixings, or a sublime $20 bouillabaisse full of crustaceans, or maybe even a $40 prix fixe, if it’s just that good.

In other words: What constitutes value? Food worth saving up for, worthy of a special occasion, an affordable lunch special at an expensive restaurant, or an inspired version of a cheap eat that’s not quite as cheap as usual.

Today, the “lunch box” at Soba-ya, which costs $17.

Click through the jump to see food porn of the gargantuan amounts of superior Japanese food that your $17 will buy you.

Bento box from top left: Crispy, greaseless tempura, assorted cooked veggies (shitake, spinach, lotus root, sweet potato), Japanese omelet, seaweed salad, pickled cucumbers, green salad, broiled salmon….

…A generous portion of Soba-ya’s handcrafted soba noodles, served either hot, in a delicious broth, or cold, with cold broth on the side

…And finally, a mildly sweet, milky soy custard, topped with strawberry


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