Among the high-end chain restaurants on “Restaurant Row” (La Cienega Boulevard) in Beverly Hills, Kazan is a small and subtle Japanese noodle shop that still packs a premium dining experience. The restaurant was founded by Chef Ryu Isobe, who previously started Tatsu Ramen, but left to to pursue a new challenge.
Chef Ryu takes his noodles very seriously. There’s a glowing neon sign that says “Pinnacle of Noodle” hanging in the front window of the restaurant. Behind it is the state of the art machine that Kazan uses to produce fresh handmade noodles everyday.
We actually chatted with Chef Ryu during our meal. He was very nice and visited every table. It was cool to hear about this passion for his craft, as he said he started Kazan because he wanted to make noodles his own way.
When first looking at the menu, you might be intimidated by the prices. Kazan is more expensive than most ramen or soba shops in LA. Its ramen bowls range from $15-$17, while soba goes for $20-$36. If you don’t appreciate fine noodles, you’ll probably be hesitant to spend that much. But if you value flavorful food, you won’t be disappointed.
The speciality sobas all have assigned numbers on the menu. The #1 is Kazan’s original thin soba noodle in a rich soy based broth with truffle seasoning, served with chashu pork, green onions, Tokyo onions and homemade wontons. You’ll be immediately hit with a lot of flavor after your first sip of the broth. It might be a little too rich for some people if you aren’t used to the power of truffles. The noodles have the perfect chewy texture and the meat quality of the chashu pork is like nothing I’ve ever had.
We also tried the #7 “Lamb in Lava” bowl. It came out in a steaming clay bowl and features three types of noodles, New Zealand lamb chops, and a lot of Japanese spices. I love spicy foods, so I appreciated the heat. I’ve never had soba served this way, as the dark red broth and dried red chilies reminded me more of a Szechuan dish.
Lastly, we also ordered the limited special “Blue Ramen”. The actual blue broth is supposed to pay tribute to Los Angeles’ blue skylines and ocean. I asked the waiter what made the soup blue and he said that it was the chef’s secret that nobody knew. The bowl of ramen was very delicious due to the truffle and featured some amazingly cooked chicken chashu. It was so soft and tender.
There’s a lot of good ramen restaurants in LA, but not many soba shops. Everything I ate at Kazan had so much flavor and is unlike any other place I’ve eaten. The great service from the staff, especially Chef Ryu, made the experience even better. If you’re willing to splurge a little on the perfect noodles, definitely give Kazan a try.
Address: 111 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Hours of operation: Mon-Fri: 5PM-9PM, Sat-Sun: 12PM-9PM
Parking: Street Parking
- Kazan offers $15 bottomless draft beer, house wine and sake on Saturdays and Sundays. A unique option for a boozy brunch!
- They have an outdoor dining patio in the front and on the side of their restaurant. If you’re curious, you might be able to watch the chefs craft the plates inside or even see them handmake the noodles
- The portions are pretty big, which is great for the price per item
- Besides noodles, Kazan also has wings, wontons, tempura, salads, lamp chops, and more on their menu