Is Setagaya the Romulus of Ramen?
When we announced the opening of Setagaya, the new ramen spot’s manager Charlie Huh insisted his product was more authentic than that of nearby Momofuku, prompting David Chang to post a snarky sign bragging that his noodles were made with 90 percent American ingredients. The joke, however, may be on Chang: Last Saturday at 9:45 p.m., we were told the wait at Setagaya was 30 minutes, with fifteen people (almost all of them of the Asian persuasion) lined up at the door. At Momofuku, the wait was only 20 to 25 minutes, and there were a measly eight gaijin milling about. We’ll continue to check in throughout the week, though only time will tell whether Setagaya is truly top ramen — after all, you don’t see people lining up at Beard Papa anymore.
Earlier: New East Village Ramen Spot Insists It’s More Authentic Than Momofuku
Related: Ramen War Brewing in East Village: Momofuku 1, Setagaya 1 [Eater]
Le Cirque Scrambles for Relevance; P*ONG ExpandingA myriad of consultants and experts are surrounding Sirio Maccioni, giving advice on how Le Cirque can recapture its now-departed magic. [Insatiable Critic]
Dessert bars are a hot enough trend right now that some restaurants and bakeries are transforming themselves at certain hours, while others, like P*ONG, are built expressly for the genre. [NYP]
Related: Because Our Desserts Are as Good as Everyone Else’s Entire Meals
Speaking of which, Asian dessert guru Pichet Ong will open a shop devoted to ice cream, pudding, and cookies next door to P*ONG on August 17. [Strong Buzz]
Silent H Not Deaf to New York’s Pleas for Vietnamese“I don’t miss anything about California except Mexican food and Vietnamese food,” says Vinh Nguyen, a onetime UCLA premed who fell into the hospitality business as a bar back at Santa Monica’s legendary Father’s Office. Since moving east three years ago, Nguyen has found New York’s Vietnamese options sorely lacking, especially when compared to the home cooking of his mother, an immigrant who left school at 9 to sell street food in Hue. The problem, as he sees it, is laundry-list menus that are too hit-or-miss, combined with “atmospheres” defined by single-white-napkin dispensers and dirty bathrooms.