Noodle Discovery: Marukame Udon

Marukame Udon
2310 Kuhio Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
Neighborhood: Waikiki
(808) 931-6000


sign kitchen menu

Me? Sucker for fresh noodles? Uh, yea! So, when we stumbled across Marukame Udon and their reputation for fresh udon noodles, it was our first stop off our early flight that landed at 5:30 am. What better way to be welcomed to Honolulu than to have a hearty slurp worthy breakfast of fresh noodles.

inside menu
tray
tempura options two set lunches close up of noodles

Marukame is a cafeteria style restaurant, so you grab a tray and they take your order. Then you slide over to the tempura section. Boy was it difficult not to pick one of each offering. Offering a number of different options for noodles, hot or cold, hubby went with bukkake style and I went with ontama bukkake style udon. In other words, we had the same thing, but mine had a nice soft boiled egg with glorious golden oozy yolk. The broth was just enough to flavor the noodles and the crunchy tempura flakes and delicately chopped onions took it to another level. Tempura fried chicken was juicy and crunchy, and I like how each tempura option had a slightly different texture batter, though all delicate, super crunchy and did not fall off of its substrate.

Conclusion: I declare this to be a routine stop whenever in Honolulu!

Kushiage Paradise at Yu-Yu

Yu-Yu
4115 Spring Mountain Rd
Ste E101
Las Vegas, NV 89102
Neighborhood: Chinatown
(702) 220-4223

We’ve always been a fan of Ichiza, and now they have a sister restaurant Yu-Yu. Let’s call it Kushiage (Koo-shi-ah-geh) paradise, a deep fried world of fry any vegetable, fruit, or protein. Well, pretty much anything. Along with a very robust kushiage menu, there are entrees that are just as tasty, and I think they are smart to offer a different variety of entrees than what Ichiza offers so that there is no competition.

Here’s some deep fried food porn for ya. =)
Kushiage Steak Scallop

Hippo!

Kaba Curry
6475 W Charleston Blvd Ste 160
Las Vegas, NV 89146
Neighborhood: Westside
(702) 589-0370
http://kabacurry.com

Kaba!  (Hippo)

First off – I love Kaba Curry’s cute hippo mascot (Kaba is hippo in Japanese by the way). Kaba Curry is located in a cafeteria like location on Charleston near the College of Southern Nevada’s (CSN) north campus along with other college friendly vendors for Korean food, Mexican, boba drinks and chicken wings. Seems as though they’ve got the right idea: FEED THE HUNGRY COLLEGE KIDS WITH COMFORT FOOD, otherwise it’s pretty empty in the evening once all the students have gone home.

Kaba Curry Order Tonkastu and Croquette Curry Croquette and Sausage Curry

Between the three of us we got pork katsu/Tonkatsu, chicken katsu, sausage and potato croquette. The shining star of the set was actually the potato croquette. It was fried to a golden crisp. Huge crunch on the outside and creamy potatoey on the inside. The curry sauce wasn’t bad too, and the chicken and pork were not dry and quite tasty.

Conclusion: They may be empty in the evenings now, but I think word will soon spread. Get your Japanese curry fix before there are lines out the door!

$ to Value Ratio: 3.75/5 Beeps
Yummy Factor: 3.75/5 Beeps
Texture Satisfaction: 5/5 Beeps
Average beeps: 4.16 Beeps

Comfort Curry

Japanese Curry Zen
5020 Spring Mountain Rd
Ste 1
Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 985-1192
http://www.curryzen.com/

It’s a rainy day in Vegas. It’s literally dropped at least 20 or so degrees and the temperature hovers around 50 degrees. What?! Only thing to do is to eat something warm and cozy. Curry it is. Curry Zen recently opened in what seems to becoming famous plaza on Spring Mountain and Decatur with the likes of Raku, Monta, Trattoria Nakamura-ya and Kabuto.

We enter into Curry Zen and it’s cozy and cute. The menu is simple. Pick your protein or carb and you get your plateful of aromatic Japanese style curry with fluffy pillows of rice.

Croquette Chicken Katsu

1. Chicken Katsu Curry – Crispy breading on the outside, white chicken meat on the inside.
2. Croquette Curry – A combination of peas, carrots, and potatoes with a crispy crunchy breaded exterior. Carb-licious.

Conclusion: It was comforting food on a rainy day. I had a fleeting thought that the menu was a little too simple, but perhaps, keeping it super simple is a good thing. Quality control ya? I made the mistake of getting 1 croquette ONLY and was still hungry! Don’t forget to order more protein and you’ll leave with a full satisfied belly. 3.25/5 Average beeps

$ to Value Ratio: 2/5 Beeps
Yummy Factor: 3.75/5 Beeps
Texture Satisfaction: 4/5 Beeps
Average Beeps: 3.25 Beeps

Menu Spices

Oh-My-Gah-se Omakase

Kabuto
5040 Spring Mountain Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 676-1044
http://www.kabutolv.com

[Update: Returned 12/1/2012 and I found that the fish quality was better but still not phenomenal by any means. The rice was warmer and fluffier. The fish was cut better. I attribute the last two listed improvements to the newer chef, we’ll call “The Rookie Chef.” We’ll call the once who cuts fish poorly and makes poor rice balls for the nigiri “The Amateur,” who was the one who was our chef for listed visit below on 10/3/2012) I wish we had Gen san the owner, but he was on the other side of the bar serving other guests. I was disappointed as the restaurant got busier and our service was switched from Rookie Chef to Amateur Chef. The final blow that made me not was to return was when he made our crab hand rolls and proceeded to finish the two rolls all at once before handing us the sushi. What were the ramifications of that? Well, the nori was soggy! The whole point of sitting at the bar is to get handed sushi almost immediately from the chef’s hands, is it not? Disappointed. Just disappointed.]

[Update: We returned once again (10/3/2012) and boy was I disappointed this time. Number one mistake: did not sit at the bar, so we did not get fresh right from the Chef’s hand. Fish was decidedly not super fresh and not cut very well. The rice was not warm, fluffy and chewy – perhaps even cold? Where was our delicately brushed aged soy sauce? Absolutely disappointing. Poor quality – minuscule portion size even for nigiri sushi. We might as well be eating at a sushi buffet.]

Simple. Elegant. Delicious. Omakase was “Oh-my-gah-se” Har har.

Finally, real sushi has made an appearance in Las Vegas. It joins other Japanese restaurants (Monta, Raku, Trattoria Nakamura) seemingly making a name for themselves and revitalizing a dump of a plaza it used to be.

Kabuto offers fresh, simple but thoughtfully created dishes. I won’t list everything that I ate because somehow once the first piece of nigiri sushi hit my tongue, I forgot to take pictures and was just floating in my own sushi heaven. Gives me reason to return again.

Conclusion: Thank you Sushi Gods. Edomae sushi here in Las Vegas at last. =)

Sea eel Sweet shrimp Chu toro hand roll Tamago Dharma snapper Serving slab Seafood Daily menu Appetizer Pineapple sake Chef Beverage menu Shall remain sign-less Fresh Mochi ice cream Small fork for dessert

Sora Ramen

Sora Ramen
4490 Spring Mountain Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89102
(702) 685-1011

I am happy that there is another ramen option other than the more busy Monta Ramen in the Chinatown area. I’ve been a couple times and the broth isn’t as intense as Monta Ramen. The noodles seem thicker, which is good for me because I like thick and chewy noodles. The chashu is just as tasty and fatty-licious.

Would you say I like Sora Ramen more? I would just say it’s different. Like comparing apples and oranges and like comparing ramen from different areas in Japan.

Conclusion: Delicious Ramen. Give it a try.

Ramen

Slurp slurp noodles

I-Naba
3210 S Decatur Blvd Ste 104
Las Vegas, NV 89102
(702) 220-6060

Finally, we have a restaurant that specializes in cold soba and udon. Hooray for Vegas. Being the noodle whore that I am, I had high expectations from tasting all the delicious noodle restaurants in Torrance, CA.

I-Naba’s cold soba and cold udon noodles brought just the right amount of chewiness. The mild dipping sauce was the perfect compliment to warm Las Vegas weather.

Conclusion: Looking to slurp up refreshing cold noodles? Try I-Naba

Vegetable Ten Zaru Udon Stuffed Calamari Ten Zaru soba Inaba menu 1 Inaba menu 2