My first ever trip to the East Coast, and I relied heavily on recommendations of friends. On the flight over, I discovered that the Japanese guidebook I had purchased was aimed squarely at a mid-20s female audience. I wasn't about to spend my week eating cupcakes and shopping for hair accessories.
Kampai! I'm thankful that my New York friends know the important things in life.
Beer and ramen. The beer is obviously imported, but what about the ramen?
Totto takes an odd approach, choosing to do a 鳥人丸鶏白湯ラーメン, a creamy chicken bone paitan, that would be considered rare even in Tokyo. Their sister shop in NY, Hide-Chan, does a creamy tonkotsu, so maybe that's the reason. And cross-town rival Ippudo is obviously doing the creamy soup thing. Take note, America, the top three shops in the battleground that is New York are all going for that ultra-richness that you can only get from boiling bones for days.
In a strange reversal of the norm, this time the toppings were mediocre and the soup was on point. The miso is unnecessary, opt for the spicy instead.
House-made rayu and that white soup, this is a bowl that was worth the hour long wait. Go for the extra hot version if you like your food spicy rather than bold.
The staff all shouted Japanese greetings, the wait was done on the street, and the bowl had a cute little graphic below the soup line. It's all coming together.
Check site for hours.