Friday, April 18, 2008

Ippudo Rocks

I went, I ate, I wanted more.

If you haven't read my previous post, and if you are not already obsessed with noodle soup in general and ramen in particular, you may not know that a new ramen joint, called Ippudo, has hit Manhattan and is being fawned over and welcomed and debated and dissed, depending on the circles you travel, by various food bloggers and eaters in the city. Being a typical white person who is obsessed with Japan (see #58 on Stuff White People Like), and also someone who is obsessed with food, I love ramen, and went yesterday, which was literally my first opportunity since hearing about it, to Ippudo.

Here' s a general rundown:
Pickles: too sweet. I hate sweet pickles. It didn't matter. I was so happy to be there, I dealt with the sweet pickles.

Service: friendly to the point of being surreal. When you walk in you run a gauntlet of grinning Japanese faces greeting you in some manner or other. Service was totally adequate in other respects.

Decor: weird and modern and sleek, with a mirror trick happening, where you're not sure at first glance if the people across from you are really there. I love the funky rundown aesthetic of places like Decibel, the sake bar on 9th street. Mismatched sake cups, Japanese hipsters grilled yakitori on a tiny hibachi. Or Rai Rai Ken, my first ramen joint here in NYC, which has all this funky cement work and mosaics and feels cobbled together in a homey-artsy way, which seems to go with ramen. Whatever, this place is sleek and modern. I'll deal with it.

Soup: crazy, crazy, weirdly good. Good like, you almost feel like you shouldn't be eating it. Like, what could be in here that makes it taste so amazing? It's so good. There is seaweed and a slice of sort of dry-ish pork, and a whole mess of thin long noodles. The broth is cloudly, which my friend suggested might be because they cook the noodles right in the broth, which I think was true. It also gave the noodles a slight SLIGHT gumminess, which was not perfect, but whatever. So damn good. Like all soups, it all comes down to the broth.

One problem: I could have eaten whole other bowl. I was not satisfied, even after a $13 dollar bowl of noodle soup. Just thirsty.

I'd like to go back tomorrow, or as soon as possible.

Hakata Ippudo
65 Fourth Ave., New York, NY 10003
nr. 10th St


akiko said...

Hey Larrisa,

I'm sooo glad to know you like it. My friends went there tonight but I didn't have a time to go with them. I'd like to try it some time soon, since I already consumed ramen noodles which I had bought in tokyo...


Larissa Phillips said...

Thank you for telling me about it, Akiko!

Jamie said...

The NY Times reviewer liked it also. Now if only I could ditch that baby...

Larissa Phillips said...

Ditch her, let's go!