Soba Sojibo (Sawtelle)

Soba at sojibo on Sawtelle. Not bad, but not ichimian.zaru ten soba

I’m always trying to find soba as good as The One I had in some random suburb of Tokyo made by a Japanese rastafarian who also brewed a mean cup of joe. Soba Sojibo’s soba was not that, but it was decent and better than your run of the mill soba ordered at a non-soba Japanese restaurant.  My favorite part was the soba-yu at the end of the meal. The dipping sauce tasted so good after pouring in the soba-yu.  The octopus wasabi small bite (and it is a very small bite) was pretty good as well.


Soba Sojibo
2006 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Ten Minute Lunch: Pasta With Anchovies and Arugula

Lunch: pasta with anchovies


  • dried long pasta (I like thin spaghetti for this)
  • 2oz. tin of anchovies in oil
  • crushed aleppo pepper (or crushed red pepper)
  • garlic
  • arugula
  • salt and pepper

Heat water  (with a generous couple of pinches of salt added to it) to boil pasta and put pasta in once water comes to a boil.  In the mean time, in a frying pan, heat olive oil, roughly chopped garlic, anchovies, aleppo pepper, and cracked black pepper over super low heat.  The anchovies should end up disintegrating into the oil. Make sure the heat is low enough not to brown the garlic.

When the pasta still has some bite left, take it out with a pair of tongs, turn the heat up to high on the frying pan, and throw the pasta in there. It’s ok if you haven’t completely shaken out all the water from the pasta. You want it to be still somewhat wet. Stir and toss pasta in the frying pan, throw in half a cup of pasta cooking water and scrape up any stuck bits on the bottom, turn the heat down to super low again. When the water has turned the anchovies and oil into a thin sauce, stir in the arugula. Turn the heat off, stir some more till the arugula is wilted, add more cracked black pepper, and serve.  By this time, I find that the pasta water and anchovy and oil have made a pretty tasty, savory, sauce to coat the pasta.

I thought I was pretty smart about incorporating arugula into this pasta, but then while I was writing this post, I found that Mark Bittman has a recipe for this too!

Emperor Noodle

When a new “coming soon” sign came up at the bad feng shui spot on the corner of Las Tunas and Mission, I thought nothing of it. When I learned it was going to have Shanghainese food, I became intrigued enough to go there for lunch today.

Emperor Noodle

The appetizer of vegetarian chicken we ordered was tender, soft, and surprisingly flavorful. It even tasted a little bit like pork. But supposedly it’s vegetarian, amazing!

Emperor Noodle

The Shanghai fried rice cake (sans pork) was typical.  It had a good wok qi taste, but could have been a little more salty. Maybe because Will ordered it without chicken-msg, but it was a little bland.

Emperor Noodle

The standout at lunch was the shen jian bao. These come four to an order, but don’t dispair because they’re not your typical bite-sized bao‘s.  Judging from appearance, it gets a 10 because of the golden fried bottom adorned with white sesame seeds, and the pillowy white top decorated by a sprinkling of black sesame seeds and green onion. The texture of the bao was spot on: crispy and fried on the bottom, soft and airy at the top.

As for the filling, judge for yourself in this picture:

Emperor Noodle

The lava-hot broth was plentiful and rich and the meat filling was flavorful and savory.  I liked that the ground meat was more roughly chopped and still retained some texture instead of being like a smooth round ball of meat paste. Dipped in a little bit of vinegar, slurped up with some soup, and then chased by a bite of the bun, it was perfect.

The menu at Emperor Noodle contained a wide range of noodle soups that I didn’t get a chance to try, but next time, offal-filled noodle soups, you are mine!  The neighboring table’s yellow fish noodles looked pretty good too.

Emperor Noodle
800 W Las Tunas Dr
San Gabriel, CA 91775