KAZAN BEVERLY HILLS
‘NOODLE HOUSE’ IS THE PERFECT COMFORT FOOD
Chef and restauranteur Ryu Isobe made a name for himself with his popular Tatsu Ramen restaurants. His new venture, Kazan Beverly Hills, which may have been the victim of unfortunate timing, is beloved for its out-of-this-world handmade soba noodles.
Kazan opened at the end of 2019 and then, as it was finding its footing, had to close its door due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the business model was revamped and Kazan morphed into a to-go restaurant with its cuisine available for pickup and delivery.
Kazan is Japanese for “volcano” and like a volcano, Chef is planning for his fine fare to lay waste to the competition.
“I named this restaurant Kazan because there are many ramen restaurants in L.A., and once a volcano erupts it destroys everything around it and creates new nature, creating a new wave of Japanese food,” Isobe explains.
I don’t know if that’s the equivalent of a slap in the face to Tatsu Ramen, which Chef is no longer affiliated with, but if the proof is in the pudding, or in this case the ramen noodles, then there’s no comparison.
It might be a cheat or just sheer brilliance, but Chef’s use of truffle seasoning creates flavorful dishes that can only be described as knockout comfort food.
“I have no boundaries as a chef,” Ryu points out. “I didn’t get any training from actual chefs, I just get the ingredients, taste it and imagination is the biggest ingredient of my food.”
To prep his dishes before the restaurant’s opening, Chef purchased a state-of-the-art noodle machine and explored all kinds of flours, different ratios of water and salt, along with a variety of other ingredients.
“That’s how I came up with my noodles,” Chef admits. “Also, I really wanted to make this kind of mixed noodle, which no one is doing.”
Soba noodle has a history of nearly 1,300 years in Japan, while Ramen has been around for approximately 90 years. At Kazan, Chef makes three kinds of noodles. One is very thin, a second is mixed medium size, and the third is a very thick soba noodle. While there are many excellent ramen spots in Los Angeles, good soba, is harder to come across, so thank goodness for Kazan.
While standard ramen has a cloudy, rich pork broth made of pork bones, Kazan serves a clear chicken broth, which is cooked for seven hours and vegan broth, which takes 24 hours to make. At Kazan, Chef utilizes traditional Japanese and French techniques to make his own perfect clear broth.
During my recent visit to pick-up dinner, I started with the delectable Teriyaki Chicken Leg served with mixed greens. This is a sensational starter item just full of flavor. Another solid choice is the Shrimp Tempura served with spicy mayo sauce. Six shrimp come per order. While it is very tasty, it might be a bit pricey at $15. The Lotus Root Chips, which go great with beer, at $4.50 are a good choice too.
Special menu items include Lamb Chops sourced from New Zealand, as well as A-5 Wagyu Ribeye. But really, it’s all about the noodle entrees at Kazan, all made from scratch using a blend of flours, five days aged, with organic vegetables and fresh ingredients, while never using frozen meat.
There are eight main noodle entrees to choose from and prices ranges from $25 to $36. That might be expensive for noodles but this isn’t just any ramen dish, no, these soba noodles are an event.
The original Shina Soba thin noodle (marked as #1 on the menu) has a clear, yet rich, soy-based broth with truffle seasoning. It is served with Chashu Pork, white scallion, green onions and homemade won tons.
Kazan’s #2 original Shina Soba has a thin noodle in a salt-based, light broth with truffle seasoning. It is served with Chashu Pork, white scallion, green onion, yuzu and homemade won tons.
Kazan’s #3 original Hirauchi Soba thick noodle sits in a creamy and rich broth with truffle seasoning. It is served with Chashu pork, white onions and homemade won tons. This Soba is like a fettuccine Alfredo, but Asian style. This is a great one and affordable at $27.
The #4 is the original Shina Soba thin noodle in a clear yet rich, soy-based broth with truffle seasoning, served with a whole teriyaki chicken leg, green onions, and leafy greens.
The #5 is the original Shina Soba thin noodle in a salt based, light broth with truffle seasoning. Served with a whole teriyaki chicken leg, leafy greens, green onions and yuzu.
The #6 is the original Hirauchi Soba thick noodle, made using a customized noodle cutter, in a creamy and rich broth with truffle seasoning. Served with a whole chicken leg, leafy greens, white onions and Parmesan cheese.
The #7 is known as “lamb in lava.” This spicy, signature dish uses a variety of Kazan’s original noodles, from thin to thick, and is served with lamb chops, cilantro, and a lot of Japanese spices. When served for in-dining, it arrives at the table in a hot pot or clay pot and is served boiling. The Japanese spices with Miso paste used in this dish are shipped directly from Japan. This one is the priciest on the menu at $36 but if you want to treat yourself well, this one is hard to beat.
The #8 is Kazan’s Vegan, “purely vegan, old school”, option and has all-of-the flavor with none of the meat. This dish uses a kelp and mushroom stock with hints of ginger, and is served with tofu, white onions and leafy greens, to create an umami flavor.
My favorite was the #7 as the flavor was just off the charts. The truffle seasoning is beyond belief.
For the time being, Kazan is a noodle house, but Chef is open to adding to his menu when normalcy and in-room dining returns.
“Maybe we serve noodle, or Wagyu right now, but I’m a free style chef, so I’m going to introduce maybe tacos or something in the near future.”
For now, consider this among the best comfort food in town. It may not be the standard meat and potatoes definition of comfort food, but broaden your horizons and get lost in a wonderful world of flavor and taste.
Kazan is located at 111 N. La Cienega Blvd in Beverly Hills. Call (424) 512-9101.
Story By: Jose Martinez
Photography Courtesy Of: Kazan