Samurai Mama specializes in udon, although it resembles an izakaya more than it does a noodle house. The menu offers a spectrum from gyoza to sushi and cocktails, all somewhat innovative in execution but based on traditional Japanese ingredients, so it’s fun. The udon, though, is truly exceptional. Noodles are made in-house using wheat flour sourced from California and freshly cut daily. And the making of the broth is also an elaborate process, using a blend of konbu (seaweed), shiitake, flying fish, mackerel, bonito and tuna. Kitsune udon is one of the most basic types of hot udon: udon with sweetened deep-fried tofu. At Samurai Mama, they also add tanuki (fried tempura batter), seaweed and scallions. After the noodles are boiled for nine minutes, the texture is that of perfectly thick, smooth and slurpy udon, and the broth is a complex mix of different fish flavors and a strong hint of yuzu that adds a little sweetness to counter all that umami. There’s nothing like a good bowl of noodles to offer delicious comfort.