Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ippudo Westside 07-23-2013

Location: 321 W. 51st St. (8/9th Ave)
Time: 12pm
People: SaSha,MaSha and myself

Feelings: Ippudo II is now officially open on West 51st street in Midtown. Similarly to the East Village location and the locations in Japan (as my mother calls it, "the place with the pointlessly long lines"), fans of the Japanese ramen chain will have to wait at this location. Our wait at noon on Tuesday was approximately 20 minutes. Make sure all parties are present upon arrival, so don't bring your flaky friends or business associates near this place.

The Midtown location is spacious with bright lighting. You can actually see every noodle unlike the atmosphere of club scene that the East Village location creates. Three ramen dishes are currently on the menu: Akamaru, Shiromaru, and Karaka-men ($14, with extra chashu $17) and seven appetizers: Edamama, Tako Wasabi, Shishito Peppers, Goma Kyuri, Salad, Buns, and Chicken Wings. There is also a $18 "lunch set" that features your choice of ramen, small salad and rice bowl--chicken, spicy pork or eel.

All noodles and broths are created at this new flagship for both Midtown and East Village locations. It might be because of the lighting that makes you see every inch of the noodle, but somehow I enjoyed the Akamaru at the East Village location better. Everything always seems more interesting in the dark.

When it comes to the competition in the area--for the flavors and prices, I prefer Totto Ramen a block away. Ippudo II is supposed to open its vegetarian restaurant upstairs, so I will have to wait to see the comparison of veggie ramen between the two.

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