65 4th Avenue
New York, NY 10003-5220
The New York City arrival of the Hakata style Ramen temple, Ippudo, really signified to me the just how wide spread the ramen invasion was in North America. While ramen had been gaining in popularity on the West Coast for quite some time, especially in Asian strongholds like Los Angeles, San Jose, and Vancouver, it didnt seem to have the wide spread appeal that sushi did. Even with something like David Chang’s Momofuku Noodle Bar, it could be written off as an anomaly. Not anymore – thankfully, it looks ramen is here to stay.
Ippudo is a ramen chain started by Shigemi Kawahara, the “Ramen King” of Japan. King or not, he has definitely been credited with many advances, and pushing the envelope with the art of ramen – a modern, yet traditional approach to ramen. Each Ippudo location takes advantage of regional differences and produces a slightly different variation of their ramen – offered in addition to their traditional tonkotsu offering. In New York, that offering is the Akamaru Modern.
For more details on Hakata style ramen, please see Shokutsu’s description in his Menya review.
Once you get in, usually taking 30-90 minutes these days, you’ll be seated in a modern, understated environment. It is comfortable, and far larger than Kawahara’s original 10 seater in Fukuoka.