I’m not the biggest noodle person. I know, eeeveryone loves pasta and noodles, right? Ok, so I’m a freak of nature and don’t find much appeal in it. It’s not to say I hate them, or won’t ever eat them, I just usually won’t order them off a menu. But, when you’re taken to a soba restaurant, well, you’re eating soba noodles. So, I was off to try out Cocoron in the Lower East Side.
The restaurant itself is small, quaint and cozy with some additional counter seating around a cooking station. The menu offers a whole variety of cold noodles, dipping noodle dishes, and ramen style bowls. I ordered their Warm Sansai Soba (deep fried tempura batter, simmered deep fried tofu, scallion, bamboo shoot, flowering fern, wood ear mushroom). First off, the portion is really generous, which, I’ll actually get to a gripe about that later. The fish broth is savory and flavorful, and all of the ingredients soak up that flavor like little sponges, especially the tempura batter and tofu. It’s definitely a great comfort dish, with the warmth of the hot food, the noodles, and savory broth. So, the flavors and dish were really great and tasty, but, there was a lot of it.
My main complaint is, you’re not allowed to take any of the rest to-go. I did see that they had take-away containers, but, they said it was their policy to not pack the noodles up because “it won’t taste good and the noodles will get soggy”. Here’s my thing, I can appreciate a restaurant or company’s policy, I mean, it’s their place, they can make up any rules they’d like. However, when it comes to food waste, I have an issue. If the concern is that it won’t “taste good”, let that be my concern, as long as a warning was given. Basically 1/2 of my meal ended up straight in the trash, which, doesn’t sit well with me. Whether I take it back with me to eat later, or find a hungry person on the street to feed, I feel like I should have that option. Policy or not, food waste really bothers me, especially when there are food rescue organizations like City Harvest out there, making that their mission. All of that is not to take away from the food quality or flavors, which, I really did enjoy, it’s just a part of the restaurant’s overall experience.
Location: 61 Delancey Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, the food was really great, but I’d only go back when I’m really hungry, so I can make sure I can finish my food.
Would I recommend it? Yes, especially if you’re a soba or noodle person, in general. My dining partners got the dipping noodles, which, come in a really great presentation, so that would be a dish to get as well.