Last night I made plans with an old friend who I haven't seen in months. He quickly suggested Ippudo which sounded farmiliar to me but I didnt realize where we were meeting till I arrived. Ippudo is a Japanese Ramen Noodle Brasserie located in the East Village ( on 4th Avenue between East 9th and 10th Streets).
The wait for our table was an hour and a half, so we just sat at the bar waiting and caught up on the long gone summer months. Finally his name was called and we were being seated. The first thing I noticed was that the staff is very loud. They instant you walk into the main dining room the host shouts something in Japanese to the entire restaurant, the servers respond shouting something back and you are walked to your seat. Haha pretty cool right?! We were also sat at a communal table where there was a couple seated across from us, a guy sitting alone next to my friend, etc. I personally always appreciate a restaurant which offers communal tables - it sparks conversation!
We ordered two orders of Pork Buns (each order includes two - Hakata Tonpu Yaki on the menu) and two orders of the Akamaru Modern Ramen with Nitamago (soft boiled egg). The pork buns came quickly and were scrumptious. I only ate one fearing I wouldnt have space for the filling ramen, but my friend didn't mind eating one more ;) Next the ramen arrived.
The ramen was really hot when it arrived but once I dug in, I couldnt stop. I believe this is the best ramen I have ever had. It wasnt overpowering with flavor and had just the right amount of spice. My friend finished his bowl much faster than me, as soon as I was halfway through the bowl I was full ( :-( ). Bad news - the place does not offer doggy bags so I couldn't bring the left overs home. Noticing we were finishing up, they quickly brought us each a glass of hot green tea, a very fresh way to end our lovely meal.
I had a wonderful exprerience at Ippudo, and highly recommend it whether for a dinner with a friend or a date. The service was impeccable and the food on point!