Ippudo is probably my favorite restaurant in the city. It’s inexpensive enough and delicious enough to get you going back. However, the wait is very long, usually around 2 hours, so it requires a little advance planning. I usually try to get there before 7 and plan on having a couple beers before eating. The bar is pretty small but there is a great dive around the corner which always has good happy hour specials and is pretty laid back, Black and White Bar.
Food: I usually order the chicken wings, pork ribs, and spicy miso ramen. I’ve tried some of the other items but these are definitely the stand outs. The chicken wings come with a sweet black pepper sauce and cabbage which sometimes trumps the chicken wings when it’s doused in that sweet, peppery sauce. The pork ribs are rich in flavor and melting off the bone. My mouth is actually watering right now writing about them.
The ramen I usually order is the karaka miso ramen, or some variation of this since the menu changes frequently. The most important part about ordering ramen, since I’m usually sharing, is to save enough broth to ask for ‘Kae-dama’ which means an extra serving of noodles for the remaining broth. This basically means you get to eat all the good stuff out of the soup and stretch the broth a little further. The broth is by no means a second-player in this ramen game however, and I could probably eat this pork based broth on it’s own without any noodles.
Atmosphere: The cooks and servers here are definitely hustling, in a nice and friendly way, as an average meal there is probably about 45 minutes. The second your first course is cleared, the second one is being dropped. This is not a place to linger over drinks but rather a place to get in and get out, but you’ll get some great food while you’re there.