Soba is a staple of many Japanese dishes, from soups to mori soba (a cold-noodle dish), but it's rare to find them made by hand. At Sasuga, diners can sit at one of the dozen counter seats (or the other tables, which seat two dozen more) and watch the kitchen staff make soba from scratch: grinding the buckwheat, kneading the dough, rolling it out, and cutting it. Sasuga uses minimal flavoring to let the fresh buckwheat taste come through. This intimate space is busy, so reservations are almost a requirement.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.