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February 23, 2010


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Elena Beyers

Made my mouth water. Hmmm...Now I don't have to worry about what to do with Soba noodles as it seems it would not be worth the effort....Elena

Nancy Singleton Hachisu

Elena: Well, I do proscribe to the theory that it is worth waiting for the good one...Nancy

Mora Chartrand-Grant

What I wouldn't give to enjoy a meal at Soba Ra. We had handmade soba, from freshly ground grains, while visiting Alex Kerr's Chiiori House a few years back. It was scrumptious! We've also had great soba in Fukuoka. How I wish it was readily available here in the Portland area. Maybe I need to be like The Ramen Girl and head to Japan to find a mentor. I'd be more than willing to swap Belgian home recipes for Nakatani-san's time. Now there's a thought!


Hi Nancy, Another great post. I've never travelled in Japan, and this post made me long to do so. I'd love to find restaurants like that, ones that change your entire perception of what something should be. The dishes that blow you away with the simple preparation, with perfectly attuned garnish and sides that seemed to be waiting for each other. I'm falling for your photography, what a wonderful eye you have. They are much like the country you live in, quietly beautiful, gently direct, with a slight edge of mystery.
I hope you had a great time in Berkeley, I'll be spending some time there in the middle of May. I've eaten many meals at CP, and often think I should just stay across the street and eat there every day!
Maybe sometime we'll be there at the same time and can share stories as well as the meal. Would love to get to know you a bit better if you have time and the inclination for a new friend.

Keep writing!

Nancy Singleton Hachisu

Mora: Well, the thing about soba is it's the hardest thing in the kitchen besides (or along with) tempura. But I'm sure Kanchan (or Kai) would be happy to have you watch them make it. At Ro & Ra they have observation windows where the customers can see the rolling operation. Very cool. If things go along as they are, I may still have a little house open for you and Linda to hang and you may be able to wheedle your way into Kanchan's kitchen. I recommend investing in a Japanese noodle rolling & cutting "machine." They're upright and cast iron, we bolt ours to the counter when using. They go for about ¥25,000, but well worth the price. Sometimes you can find them at flea markets, but they often aren't much cheaper. I carried with me another shirt for you and Linda and a few small things, but ended up giving them away (hanging my head now). You know how it is when you jump on the "omiyage train." I'm slow about these things, but never forget. You'll get a care package one day. Guaranteed. Oh, Christopher will be in Portland for about 6 weeks doing a course at L&C from end June to beginning Aug. I may go during that time. Stay tuned. Nancy

Claire: Well, you know you've got a place to stay when you come to Japan. I may not be the person for temple hopping, but good food places I can produce, no problem. That is what I live for. Thank you for your beautiful (and insightful) comments on my photos. Sometimes I am embarrassed when people say they like the photos, especially if I've recently been trolling some of the other food blogger campers' websites (i.e. Todd & Diane's...shoot me please). But I do think my love (and understanding) of my subject (kids, food) comes through and that counts for something, right? Mid May, I'll be in Vietnam doing a cooking class, can't wait (don't tell my husband though, I haven't let the cat out of the bag yet). I'll be thinking of you in Berkeley. It started out that I just stayed in Berkeley because of CP, but now I have friends there and am more entrenched, so it is a bit of both. I thought about the place across the street, but am fond of the Rose Garden Inn on Telegraph. The innkeeper, Kevin, is a great guy and gives good rates. The room by the gate L01 is a steal for what you get (kitchen!, king bed, pull out sofa...and no stairs). I usually go to and fro to the restaurant by cabs (wine, you know), but this time Christopher was the designated driver. Nice. And your timing is impeccable, as I'm working today on my Chez Panisse post. I'd love to share a meal and stories with you there (or over the internet for now). And I love your writing and the blog. Are you going to Blogher? I'm conflicted as Terra Madre is happening in Italy in the end of October and there is a limit, you know. Fennel gratin looked delectable. I think we have some fennel in the field. Thanks. Nancy

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