Ramen has been huge in L.A. for forever; unless you hop in the Daikokuya line before the noodle shop opens the wait seems never-ending. The rice noodles common in pho are having their day too, not only because the huge selection of Vietnamese restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley (and Orange County’s Little Saigon if you’re up for the drive), but some newer joints on the Westside like Phorage, Nong La, and East Borough, too. But when’s soba—the thick and addictively chewy Japanese buckwheat noodle—going to achieve cult slurping status in the city?
Sonoko Sakai, who left a career in foreign film buying and production in 2010 to study for several months under Japan’s soba masters, is one of the people bringing it to the forefront of our noodle discussions. But her focus is larger than just buckwheat noodles and extends to America’s larger burgeoning interest in Japanese food in general. She founded the organization Common Grains in 2011 which is dedicated to promoting the country’s food and culture with a special emphasis on grains.
On November 14-15, from 6-9 p.m., you can finally get your chopsticks on some of Sakai’s famous soba at her pop-up dinner inside Cofax Coffee. There’s no menu available yet, but there’s sure to be tons of carb-y goodness, and the sweet stuff will be coming from L.A.’s all-around baked goods ace Nicole Rucker. Reservations are not necessary, so just show up to the Venice coffee shop and get your slurp on.
Cofax Coffee, 440 N Fairfax Ave 323-424-7485