A popular Japanese ramen chain, Ichiran, recently opened up their first US location in Brooklyn (East Williamsburg/Bushwick – Morgan L stop). They’re famous for their Tonkotsu Ramen (pork broth) and eating by yourself in small booth for one. It’s like eating in a closed-in cubicle.
I decided to try them out on Thanksgiving, thinking it would be empty. Then I could enjoy my solitude in even more peace. But there was actually quite a lot of people there. A lot of Asians. Maybe they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.
There’s actually two sections to the restaurant. The individual booths and another room with tables where you could sit with other people. I also noticed you can remove the wall between the individual booths so you can see the person next to you. But I’m not sure why anyone would want to do that.
Anyway, the ramen was surprisingly good. I ordered my broth strong and rich. It’s cool that you can customize your ramen. I didn’t think I would want that option. I rather have others decide what’s best for me. But what if that person decided my broth should be bland and dull? That would suck.
You’re supposed to be able to go through this restaurant without having to talk to anyone. You write your order in. Someone in a hole picks it up and brings you your food without you having to see their face. But I ended up having to make eye contact and talk to several employees. I feel like I failed.
The pricing seems expensive. But considering this is a non-tipping establishment, the price comes out about the same as any other decent ramen spot in New York. The beer though is expensive I think. $8.90 before tax for an Asahi draft that had a lot of foam. $41.05 for ramen, pork belly and a beer. Maybe this should have been more like $35.
There was a line out the door when I left. Asians ever hear of Thanksgiving?
Ichiran – 374 Johnson Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11206