Matsugen, New York
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From the From the May 2008 Food & Wine Go List
Locals and Japanese tourists alike crowd this Waikiki offshoot of the famed Tokyo soba shrine for the nutty, al dente noodles. The restaurant grinds its own buckwheat flour and produces its soba behind a glass-partitioned bay on one side of the sleek dining room.
We loved: Crispy Kurobuta pork belly “BLT,” with tomato confit and braised lettuce.
Insider tip: The bar in the Matbaren area often has seats when the rest of the restaurant is booked.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.