I finally made it to Ippudo.
With Mr. Church in town and staying at the fashionable Ace Hotel, I had an excuse to be roughly in the neighborhood to get to Ippudo, on 10th St and 4th Ave. Lunchtime seemed to be the best time of day to get there, no queuing. We were told 15 minutes, waited 5.
We ordered shishito for appetizers, and Mr. Church pronounced them to be among the best he’s ever had. And he’s relatively well-traveled in Japan (or at least, Japanese food circles). They were great, lightly fried and not grilled.
We both ordered ramen (ramen set; I had the Shiromaru Hakata classic ramen and grilled eel over rice; Mr. Church had the spicy cod roe over rice).
The ramen was quite good, though overall I preferred my go-to ramen place, Terakawa Ramen. We split the Takoyaki there, which was delicious, and I had the house ramen and Mr. Church, the Tan Tan Ramen. The pork at Terakawa was fattier and fell apart in your mouth, which I liked more than the pork at Ippudo. Terakawa is more of a ramen-ya – not ostentatious, almost never a wait. Ippudo is an East Village scene – and at $13 a bowl (vs $9 at Terakawa), pricier. I found both tonkatsu broths to be rich and delicious. I preferred both to Santouka in Edgewater.
Ippudo’s allegedly the ramen-emperor of NYC, but Terakawa’s still my choice.