There’s so much backstory to the delicate noodles that chef Mutsuko Soma makes by hand via centuries-old methods at her Fremont soba restaurant, it’s easy to overlook the basic fact of eating here: The food is really flipping fun. The lineup of eight-ish soba dishes takes the occasional culinary liberty with classic combinations; Japanese chefs weren’t making soba with duck meatballs or curry with gooey mozzarella centuries ago, but in Soma’s hands it all makes sense. Same goes for the tempura menu, which might dress up fried satsuma yam with honey and gorgonzola. Dismiss the tempura Oreos as a mere gimmick and you’ll miss out on a surprisingly legitimate dessert. Kamonegi took over the original Art of the Table space, as well as its legacy for making unlikely magic in a tiny, awkwardly shaped space. No wonder it’s always hopping.