We’re feeling the summer in Hayes Valley. While not quite as warm as the Mission, the sun is hot and people walk around in shorts. The urge for cold soba, buckwheat noodles, a summertime favorite in Japan, propelled me into Nojo, Greg Dunmore’s farm inspired izakaya.
His chilled soba salad ($8.50), like nothing I’ve ever had, hit the spot. A tangle of thin, toothsome soba noodles was tossed with nutty mung bean sprouts, torn shreds of ice berg lettuce, and a tart, citrusy, smoky, dressing punched up with kansuri–fermented chile. The fresh mung sprouts reminded me of peas and the dressing and lettuce made the bowl of noodles particularly juicy. Nojo’s cold soba dish is charming, tasty and original, one of many on Nojo’s menu. I’m going back on Friday for Nojo’s Japanese fried chicken wings, necks and drummies with sansho pepper and Meyer lemon ($6.85)–and another bowl of soba salad.
Nojo is open for lunch Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and for Sunday brunch 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
231 Franklin Street at Hayes; www.nojosf.com