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Fremont’s Soba Specialist Is One of America’s Best New Restaurants

Mutsuko Soma’s Japanese restaurant, Kamonegi, is one of critic Bill Addison’s new favorites

A bowl full of soba noodles, topped with sliced avocado and shiso leaf.
The shrimpcado bukkake at Kamonegi includes soba noodles, shrimp tempura, and avocado.
Bill Addison/Eater

Eater’s roving restaurant critic, Bill Addison, has named Fremont Japanese restaurant Kamonegi one of the best new restaurants in America for 2018. Previous versions of Addison’s annual list have shined a spotlight on local heavyweights like Junebaby, Salare, and Bateau. He argues that now, “the dishes emerging from the country’s most exciting professional stoves narrate personal stories like never before.”

“Chefs seem more willing to risk expressing their honest selves on the plate — that, or they can’t be bothered any longer with the limitations of public assumptions and definitions around the food they cook.”—Addison

That certainly holds true at Kamonegi, whose chef earned last year’s Eater Award for Chef of the Year thanks to her otherworldly fresh soba and delicate tempura, inspired by her grandmother in Japan. Addison says Kamonegi’s soba strands, made daily from ground buckwheat, “are practically sentient in their freshness,” while the tempura’s “unorthodox but brilliant combinations like broccolini accented with Parmesan and miso-anchovy aioli” are “nearly equal to the soba.”

The full list of best new restaurants, including 18 restaurants that opened between May 2017 and May 2018 from coast to coast, is available now.

Correction: July 27, 2018, 2:00 p.m.
This article was corrected to note that Kamonegi is in Fremont, not Wallingford.


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