After hearing that Ippudo's New York shop was akin to a bustling night club, I knew that I would be going. In Tokyo, expect a 10 minute wait, a good meal for a good price, and then get on with your life. Ippudo in Tokyo is not, in any way, a big deal. Welcome to New York.
Fellow ramen nuts Michael and Sarah were eager to join.
It's a good thing, this is a social place. Not exactly a night club, but the stereo was definitely just shy of an 8 on the dial.
Not VIP enough to avoid the 90 minute wait? Happy hour at Ippudo is surprisingly affordable. Don't worry, the couple dollars you saved will soon be parted with. More on the absurd price in a minute.
Booth seating for dozens.
Loudly dressed chefs.
And an appetizer menu four pages long. Skip em I say. You can't control the size of the shop. You certainly can't tell the staff to change into more appropriate attire. You can, though, stick with just a bowl and a beer.
The ramen choices are identical to the shop's original menu. Shiomaru for a basic bowl, Akamaru for one topped with a bit of spice and a bit of garlic oil.
I always get the Akamaru. Here in NYC, it's just shy of the quality in Tokyo. A little less creamy, a little less rich, but a decent bowl. At 17 dollars a bowl (gotta get the egg), it's pricey. But with the strong yen, it comes out to only about 1300 yen.
Yes, they have the standard toppings. No, they aren't on the table. That would look tacky.
Remember when Godzilla attacked, and the mayor of Tokyo's lips kept moving for a minute after all you heard was, "Run!"? Let me explain 替え玉 to you.
Yeah, including a few beers in the bar, 9% sales tax, and a tip, the three of us racked up a hefty bill. Welcome to New York, these bridges ain't gonna fix themselves. But despite Ippudo NY being at least double the price of Ippudo 日本, you gotta do it. You gotta get your fix, and until some other players make their way in, this is a solid contender.
Check site for hours.