100 Favorite OC Dishes, #56: Ten Zaru Soba at Tanakaya

Soba enlightenment awaits you.EXPAND
Soba enlightenment awaits you.
Christopher Toland

From Orange County to Los Angeles, there is no one yet that can challenge the soba masters of Tanakaya. Their hand-crafted noodles are made daily in-house, and if you're lucky enough, you can catch the chef prepping his next batch from the viewing room within the restaurant.

While you can get your noodles hot or cold, the real fanatics get the cold Zaru Soba – a mountain of perfectly al dente nutty buckwheat strands topped with kizami (shredded) nori. Indulge a little by getting the Ten Zaru, which adds on an order of shrimp and vegetable tempura that stays as crisp at the beginning of your meal as it does at the end.

With cold soba, the key is in the delivery. Don't be shy. Garnish their meaty bonito-soaked soba tsuyu with some green onions; dab a little wasabi on your chopsticks; grab a footlong length of noodles; dip and slurp like you've never slurped before. Your nostrils will hate you, but in that moment of eye-watering zen you'll understand the harmony and simplicity behind Tanakaya's genius.

Tanakaya, 654 El Camino Real, Tustin, (657) 231-6245, tanakaya-soba.com

The List:

57. Pink Cloud Sandwich at Alicia's Cookery 
58. Homemade Super Nachos at Taqueria Los Santos
59. Strawberry Banana Croissant at Cream Pan 
60. Pla Duk Phat Phet at Vientiane Thai Laos Restaurant 
61. Risotto Con Burrata at Taverna 
62. Pineapple Float at Jollibee 
63. Szechuan Fries at Wok N Tandoor 
64. Banh Xeo at Quan Mii 
65. Chanko Nabe at Torizo 
66. Hamshuka from Hummus Bowl 
67. The Reuben at A Market 
68. Everything Cake from Slice Deli And Cakery 
69. Spicy Shrimp And Eggplant from Brio Tuscan Grille
70. Crawfish Mac & Cheese from The Wharf
71. Malasadas from Dough Doughs Hawaiian Cafe 
72. Salsas from Salsa Bandolera 
73. Chorizo Breakfast Bagel at Spigas Bakery and Cafe 
74. Whole Chicken Combo at Falafelo  
75. Toothpick Lamb at Sichuan Impression 
76. Hainan Chicken Rice at Baos Hog 
77. Fruit- and Ice Cream-Topped Waffles at Crave 
78. Garlic Shrimp Poke at Costco 
79. Chimichurri Fries at Piaggo on Wheels 
80. Torta Cubana at Cancun Juice 
81. Adobo Bowl at Irenia 
82. Garlic Noodles at Krave Asian Fusion 
83. Broccolini at SeaSalt WoodFire Grill 
84. Spicy Tuna Roll at Yard House 
85. Amber Roll at Orange Roll and Sushi 
86. Frito Chili Cheeseburger at Burger Parlor 
87. Maui Sunrise at The Original Banzai Bowls 
88. Meals from The Performance Kitchen 
89. Pizza-Sized Quesadilla at Los Sanchez
90. Filipino Brunch at EATS Kitchen And Bar
91. Mexican Chocolate at the Pie Hole 
92. Biscuits at James Republic 
93. Mushroom Flatbread with Kale and Kumquat Salad at Lemonade 
94. Mexican-Style Gelatins from Santa Ana's Gelatina Goddess 
95. Hot Pastrami Caesar Salad at Bruxie
96. Jalapeño Pupusas at Las Cazuelas
97. Meatball Sliders at Fresh Brothers
98. Buffalo Cauliflower at Mead's Green Door Cafe
99. Raindrop Cake at Sunmerry Bakery
100. Doughrito at Surfin' Donuts


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