“For us it was something healthy and relatively inexpensive,” says spokeswoman Kate Domaingue. “I don't think we were really aware of any great ramen influx.” The proof is that, with every noodle bar straining to establish its Japanese bona fides (or, in the case of Momofuku, its insouciance in the face of such pressure), Gold St. has blithely announced a new ramen soup that suggests only the vaguest acquaintance with Asian paradigms. “We have designed our menu towards American classics and comfort foods designed for college students and professionals on the go,” chef Patrick Vaccariello tells us. Gold St.'s version is made with a vegetable broth and a Japanese brand of soba noodles – mistakes that would have even the most forgiving ramen expert hopping mad. “If we used pork or chicken [broth], it would limit the people that could consume it. This way if people don’t eat meat, they can have the soup all by itself,” Domaingue tells us. Now why didn’t David Chang ever think of that? No wonder he’s struggling so mightily against Setagaya.
Related: Is Setagaya the Romulus of Ramen?