Who knew cold noodles would be so good on a hot day? I’ve had soba before but never from an “authentic” restaurant. This staple of the Japanese diet is made from buckwheat flour and according to I-Naba’s website, “Not only is soba high in protein and fiber, but it is also packed with compounds, nutrients, and antioxidants that are conducive to a sound diet and good health.” Sounds great, doesn’t it? it’s delicious and healthy.
This establishment is owned by a company based in Torrance, CA with restaurants in Torrance and Honolulu. The soba noodles are made in the California spot and shipped to Las Vegas several times a week. Since it’s opening in Vegas, I-Naba has become a hugely popular spot among those who love traditional Japanese cuisine and food enthusiasts wanting to learn more about it. Located in a strip mall,I-Naba is a tranquil spot that feels lightyears away from the hustle and bustle of Vegas.
The cold soba noodles were deliciously chewy, although they did stick together making it tricky to eat. Luckily there weren’t many others around to see me wrestle them apart with my chopsticks. It wasn’t pretty, but I made it happen. A dipping sauce made of dashi, soy sauce and mirin accompanies the noodles. A side of wasabi and green onions is also give for you to mix in.
Not only was it a tasty experience, it was also educational one. The waitress was happy to explain the dish and etiquette to me and informed me of the customary drink after eating the noodles. The sobayu — the water that the noodles were cooked in — is brought out and mixed with the dipping sauce. It makes for a wonderfully rich and refreshing warm beverage to end the meal.
I also ordered some chirashi — another great option when the temperature rises. The cuts of fish were decent, with the salmon being the best of the bunch. Also found in the bowl were tuna, mackerel, shrimp, and tofu. The sushi rice found beneath was heavy on vinegar. Does that qualify as authentic? I have no idea. But I do know that this place is a gem featuring wonderful soba noodles and a relaxing atmosphere that might make you think you’re in Japan enjoying some of the local culture.
3210 S Decatur Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89102