Another takeout win, and this time from a new spot in town. Kazan opened its doors late 2019 helmed by chef and owner Ryu Isobe, the brainchild of Tatsu Ramen restaurant on Melrose Avenue and Sawtelle Blvd, who moved on from Tatsu, and is now doing his own signature style. The focus is on homemade Japanese style soba noodles and everything is homemade fresh daily.
Per the restaurant, soba noodle has a history of around 1,300 years in Japan while ramen only has 90 years in comparison. The current trend in Japan is different types of high-end handmade soba noodles - the first noodle restaurant in the world that received a Michelin star was also a soba restaurant. There are many excellent ramen spots in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills but not as much when it comes to good soba and Kazan hopes to cater to that space with its offerings.
Gifted chef entrepreneur Ryu Isobe is self-taught and has spent more than half of his life in the U.S., so he understands both Japanese and American cultures. After the success of Tatsu, he is making a splash with Kazan where three types of soba noodles are available differing in width: thin, medium and thick. The word Kazan means volcanic in Japanese, which seems apt for the many signature spicy dishes and magical ingredients used here for the flavor explosion you will experience.
At Kazan, chef serves clear chicken broth, which is cooked for seven hours, and vegan broth, which takes 24 hours to make. He uses traditional Japanese and French techniques to make his own perfectly flavored clear broth. For starters, you have a nice selection of menu items including Lotus Root Chips, Teriyaki Chicken Leg, Shishito Peppers, Organic Salad, Crispy Wontons, and Shrimp Tempura served with a spicy mayo sauce. Signature specials include Lamb Chops grilled in a spicy Japanese sauce and A-5 Wagyu Rib Eye in a citrusy yuzu-soy sauce.
The soba action though is where the magic lies. There are eight options with a combination of broth, noodles, protein and spices. Pictured here are a chicken option and the lamb which were both delicious. They also have a purely vegan option with no meat that features kelp and mushroom stock with hints of ginger, and is served with tofu, white onions and leafy greens, to create an umami flavor.
The #6 Kazan original Hirauchi soba thick noodle, made using a customized noodle cutter, in a creamy and rich broth with truffle seasoning is served with a whole chicken leg, leafy greens, white onions and Parmesan cheese. The broth is a comforting texture and soothingly salty to want to keep souping up long after your meal is done. The thick noodle and the chicken are very well portioned for a full supper. The greens, onions and cheese add crunch and aroma to a plate that’s full of flavor. I liked how you could taste all the parts individually but also enjoy the ingredients as a whole with no single taste overpowering the others.
The #7 Kazan lamb in lava is aa signature dish that uses a variety of original noodles, from thin to thick, and is served with lamb chops, cilantro, and a lot of Japanese spices. Typically served at the table in a hot pot or clay pot, the Japanese spices with miso paste used in this dish offer a super spicy kick. A tad bit too fiery for my taste buds for folks with an affinity for the red chili this is exactly your dream come true in a bowl. Again, perfectly cooked chops that easily fell off the bone but with the noodle and the broth, which is an equally fiery dark red, it all comes together just right.
The portion sizes are great for the prize as are the preparations themselves. The two appetizers and entrees were sufficient for two adults. They came efficiently packed in spill proof containers that were well-marked for the dishes they go with. I would have to go back once the space is open for customers to dine-in and see how that experience goes. I hear the interiors are uniquely designed and spot looks cozy from the outside with string lights. No desserts on the menu here but am hoping that will change once guests can head to dine onsite. Meanwhile orders are accepted for delivery and pickup so go check it out soon!