NYC Ramen Tour #3: Ippudo

Friday night, Evan and I finally tried the famed and much hyped Japanese ramen noodle chain, Ippudo. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures, but we probably would have been tsk'd and shamed if we even tried -- not by the restaurant itself, but by the weirdly uptight, too-cool for school clientele. Ippudo has a trendy, clubby atmosphere, which I would have preferred to take in from one of their bar seats versus from one of their communal tables. Whatever your preference, it's definitely a lively scene.

As for the ramen, it really didn't disappoint. Evan called it "contemporary Japanese ramen," which seems like an appropriate description. In the realm of New York City ramen shops, Men Kui Tei is the old-school, old-world Mom and Pop shop, while Ippudo is the dolled up, sophisticated, and a little rebellious daughter.

I ordered the Tonkotsu ramen special and Evan ordered the Spicy Tonkotsu ramen. Both were superb in terms of savory, porcine broth flavor and springy noodle freshness; far better than Minca. The only complaint I have, besides the atmosphere, is the lack of pork. Props to Ippudo for using top quality, deliciously tender Berkshire Pork, but one thin slice is pretty piddly for a $13 bowl of soup. (Please sir, I want some more!) Still, I'd definitely return. Perhaps not for dinner, but absolutely for lunch.

65 4th Ave., New York, NY 10003

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