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Udon Mugizo

By Ella Polak Feb. 15, 2023

A minimalistic slate gray building with red trimmings and a pointed roof reminiscent of traditional Japanese architecture, Udon Mugizo San Jose is both an architectural and gastronomical mix of Western and Eastern influences. The restaurant, located off Saratoga Avenue, serves a variety of classic and modern Japanese dishes centered around udon,thick noodles made from wheat flour.

After arriving at the restaurant for lunch, I was quickly seated. I was surprised at the high prices, so I ordered an appetizer of Agedashi Tofu and one of Udon Mugizo’s signature dishes—Mentai Cream Sauce Udon—rather than a traditional bowl to get my money’s worth. Mentai cream udon is a modern Asian-fusion recipe that is popular in big Japanese cities like Tokyo and Osaka.

The service was very attentive; the waiters rushed about delivering tea, appetizers and entrées to diners. After five minutes, my dish arrived with the udon noodles gleaming in cream sauce and a bright pink scoop of cod roe topping the plate. Chopped green onion, parmesan flakes and tempura sat atop the noodles, along with small portions of bean sprouts and seaweed.

I slurped up the steaming hot udon and was instantly hit by the distinct acidity of the parmesan. The roe’s umami taste slightly balanced out the intense flavor of the cream sauce, and the bitter bean sprouts deepened the dish’s complexity. The crunch of the crispy tempura batter, bean sprouts and green onion complemented the soft, chewy noodles. However, despite the variety of flavors and textures, the taste of the parmesan was a bit too strong and overpowered other parts of the udon.

Halfway through my entrée, the agedashi tofu arrived, simmering in a dashi-based broth. I enjoyed the inside of the tofu, which was silky and cooked to perfection. However, the deep-fried exterior was not crispy enough for my taste.

Udon Mugizo has a few unique dishes that could be worth the hefty price; however, some of their traditional dishes seem to lack the distinct flavor profile I found in my mentai cream sauce udon. Still, with the right selection of food, Udon Mugizo delivers a memorable, flavor-filled experience and is a great choice for satisfying noodle cravings.


About the Contributors

Ella Polak

staff writer

Ella Polak is a sophomore at Leland High School and a staff writer for The Charger Account. She enjoys reading, volunteering and gardening in her free time.

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