The weather got almost hot enough to crave cold noodles, but David Shi's liang pi was 3,000 miles away, so I turned to Mifune's Zaru Soba, one of Sara Deseran's "go-to" Asian noodle dishes. Soba, of course, are noodles made from buckwheat, and a "zaru" is a wicker basket or platform the noodles are served in or on, presumably to drain; "zaru soba" is, therefore a "dry" noodle dish.
I chose the Mifune Bistro (the former Bushi-Tei Bistro) location in the Kinokuniya Bulilding in Japantown over the main Mifune Restaurant, because the latter is in the tunnel-like "restaurant row" in the Kintetsu Building, which I find dark and gloomy. Mifune's zaru soba is served with a dipping sauce consisting of a dashi-like broth to which one adds and stirs in the wasabi, chopped onions, and grated daikon that are provided on a side dish. You lift the noodles, dip them in the sauce, and slurp them. I found the noodles to be fresh and chewy (for a dry noodle dish to be anything but would be a crime) though too plain in their nakedness. Even the the dipping sauce (and I added all of the condiments) did little to add interest, and I found myself hankering for the complexity and fire of the above-cited cold noodle dish at Xi'an Famous Foods in Flushing. Mifune's udon noodle dishes (for which it is known) looked promising, and I will probably be back to try some, being a fan of udon, though I doubt I will repeat the zaru soba.
Where slurped: Mifune Bistro, 1581 Webster Street, Japantown, San Francisco.