Ramen Setagaya Opens Third LocationIn addition to the shio-based (salt-based) ramens served at the original location, customers will also be able to chose among shoyu-based (soy-sauce-based) varieties.
Huzzah! More Ramen for the East Village!On the theory that you can never have enough ramen bars in the East Village, Ippudo, yet another Japanese import, will open on March 31. According to Andrea Strong, Ippudo will be in “an urban-styled log cabin hut” (um, okay…) and will serve five kinds of ramen, “including their signature Shiromaru Moto-Aji (white-pork-based broth ramen) and Akamaru Shin-Aji (a bolder-flavored red broth seasoned with garlic olive oil and their secret sauce).” Will Ippudo succeed where Momofuku, Setagaya, Minca, and others have also succeeded? Why not? The liquor license and specialty sake cocktails certainly won’t hurt.
This Just In: Ippudo to Open March 31st! [Strong Buzz]
Related: Best of New York: Best Ramen [NYM]
back of the house
Adam Platt on Best of New York: “It’s a Matter of Taste, Cutty!”Having pawed and pondered this week’s Best of New York issue endlessly, we knew that the only way we could possibly make up our minds about it was to pester Adam Platt into giving us his thoughts on why he made his picks, who he had to leave out, and what his reasoning was. Since Platt is always readily available on IM, the following chat answered our questions and made our peace with his picks.
Back of the House
Momofuku 2.0 Opens TomorrowEater brings news that Momofuku Noodle Bar will be opening the doors of its more spacious new location tomorrow — good news for East Village diners who’ve been waiting in lines out the door at Ramen Setagaya and Rai Rai Ken. Is there some natural connection between Japanese noodle soup and long lines? It would seem to defeat its own purpose when on a cold day one has to first wait and then quiver on a tiny stool — why even leave the house? Especially when, in the case of Setagaya, you can’t get soup to go. Clearly the Momofuku move is a good thing for ramen — unless it turns out that the line is what makes the people come, not the soup.
Momofuku Noodle Bar 2.0 Definitely Opens Tomorrow [Eater]
Related: Keeping Up With The Momofukus [NYM]
Oriental Spoon Gives Up on Tapas, Relaunches As Japanese Pasta HouseNo sooner had we begun to understand Oriental Spoon, the Pan-Asian tapas restaurant hidden away in the rear of Ramen Setagaya than it had changed again. Welcome, Pasta Wafu! The newest incarnation of the space specializes in “Japanese-style pasta,” says manager Charlie Huh. Think of flying fish roe in a cream sauce with penne or linguine with sea urchin and “homemade oil sauce.” But if you’re not into Italianate fusion, there’s also a full sushi bar. But be daring, says Huh. “This is top-notch food, and it’s very affordable! It’s not just for Japanese people.” We’ll settle for just not having to stand in the Setagaya line.
Related: New East Village Ramen Spot Insists It’s More Authentic Than Momofuku
A Japanese Mercenary Enters Noodle WarCan New York support a troop surge in the ramen wars? A Chowhound poster recently reported that an Ichiran ramen shop would open in Greenpoint. While Ramen Setagaya and Momofuku vie for soup-bowl supremacy, Ichiran, one of Japan’s top ramen chains, is making its entry in an area better known for tenements and pork stores.
Former Clinton Hill Porn Store to Become Euro EateryClinton Hill: A former porn shop on Myrtle Avenue will become a European-style cafe, a term open to interpretation. The only notable physical change to the space is an exterior paint job. [Clinton Hill Blog]
East Village: Ramen Setagaya at 141 First Avenue will be ready to open when Con Edison turns the gas on. [VV] Former captain at Gramercy Tavern and Picholine Rob Ziser has opened his own restaurant out of a subleased kitchen at Company bar. [The Strong Buzz]
Gramercy: Delayed high-end Asian restaurant Wakiya in the Gramercy Park Hotel is coming and hiring. [Eater]
Harlem: A Coldstone Creamery on 125th Street could give Mister Softee an ice-cream headache. [Uptown Flavor]
Park Slope: Michael Hearst recorded Songs for Ice Cream Trucks in his converted one-bedroom, but it looks like his jingles won’t make it to the big time. [Brooklyn Record]
Tribeca: Brandy Library is hosting a free cognac tasting tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. And afterward begin the piano stylings of Joel Forrester. [Brandy Library]