Ippudo is New York’s most raved about ramen joint which was brought over to the U.S. from Japan. There are two stigma’s that this restaurant carries: 1- best ramen in NYC 2- the wait is about two hours no matter what day/time you go. In conclusion, New Yorker’s are always right about things like this. So why would you ever wait for a table for two hours? Well, Ippudo is definitely something that you have to experience, I mean don’t you want to see for yourself what everyone is raving about? To prevent any anger or hunger pangs, make sure to drop by early around 6 or 6:30 put your name on the list, and then stroll around the East Village for a couple hours whether it’s window shopping or bar hopping. Your appetite will hit you just in time as your table is ready for you.
Once you move past the hostess stand into the restaurant, your mouth drops as you realize how big the restaurant actually is. The front room is pretty busy and the tables are curvy, square like and communal. The back is quieter and more intimate for smaller parties with red leather booths, exposed brick and a huge black and white mural on the wall. The staff is overly friendly, resourceful and very knowledgeable about ingredients that ramen-virgins wouldn’t understand. The service is almost a bit too fast, but then again think about how long you’ve been salivating and waiting. The pork bun appetizers are a big hit here, but don’t waste your time on the chicken ones because the meat is very tough (pic above). Most of the ramen is served in a deep red bowl full of rich striking pork broth and soft, flavorful noodles. Trying to take your first bite is an experience of its own here as the noodles are long, never ending and difficult to maneuver. Not an ideal dish for a first date, but it’s definitely a fun adventure trying to slurp down these noodles. It makes you feel silly maybe even drunk. Ippudo is one of those special New York places that you just have to suck up and make an effort to go to. You’ll leave with a warm, full belly and won’t be disappointed.