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As summer’s heat descends, my appetite plummets. I crave cool, refreshing foods like cucumbers, watermelon, gazpacho—and chilled soba noodles. At home I make soba bowls almost weekly, but I also seek them out around town. One of the simplest and most satisfying versions can be found at the new Glaze by Sasa in Congress Park. The weeks-old restaurant, which is a joint effort from Sushi Sasa and Glaze: The Baum Cake Shoppe, serves a cha-soba dish at lunch and dinner. The preparation is uncluttered and minimalist: a tangle of noodles, a knob of wasabi, and a delicate broth for dipping. For a light meal, order the soba on its own, or couple it with an item or two off the sushi menu. If the fresh scallop is on the menu, don’t pass it up.
Bonus: Glaze’s panna cotta also fits my refreshing summer food theme. The traditional Italian custard gets a Japanese twist with light lemongrass and ginger nuances. Topped with strawberry-mint pico (think pico de gallo but with strawberries standing in for the vegetables), cucumber-gelée, and chocolate crunch, the treat satisfies without being overly heavy.
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—Photo by Rachel Nobrega