Cocoron Soba - Lower East Side, NYC
Soba is the yin to udon's yang in the harmonious world of Japanese noodles... or something like that. If Udon West was our must eat for udon, then Cocoron is unquestionably our go to for soba. Like the East Village outpost of Udon West, Cocoron has limited counter seating and a scarcity of tables but somehow, it's always the tiniest, unassuming restaurants which have the best food.
There's no better time to try out the noodles at Cocoron than at this time of the year especially when you need to escape the gusting wind on the New York streets. Their homemade tofu is super soft and flavorful but nothing beats a hot bowl of spicy noodles. In our recent visit, we tried both the pork curry and pork kimchi versions of the warm soba, both of which were phenomenal, but the kimchi variety definitely won the championship belt. Tables next to ours opted for dipping soba which arrived neatly prepared on trays with small stone pots of dipping sauces heated by mini Sternos. For dessert the mocha ice cream was soft, flavorful and dusted with a miso powder that added a whole new dimension to a fairly common Japanese sweet. It's safe to say Cocoron deserves 2, if not 3, thumbs up. Even thought it's slightly out of the way, it's more than worth the trip.
61 Delancey St. (btw Eldridge and Allen Streets)
Lower East Side, NYC