At chef Tak Kurachi’s bright U:Don noodle shop in the University District, you’ll wind your way through the clean, spare restaurant, grab a tray and order one of the eight udon (Japanese rice noodle) dishes. On a warm day, try the zaru udon, the thick noodles with soy dipping sauce, ginger and scallions. (There’s also the option to fill a dish with crunchy tempura topping; do this!) You take the noodles in your chopsticks, dip them into the sauce, dab a little ginger and then touch them down into the tempura crunchies: brilliant. Tempura-fried veggies are on offer, too, as are hot, simple udon soups. But the noodles (which you can watch being made in the open kitchen) are at their firm, textural best in the cold dishes.
Lunch and dinner daily. University District, 4515 University Way NE; 206.453.3788; freshudon.com ¢