Last Full Night In New York: Ippudo!

Of course the last night's supper must be Ippudo (65 4th Avenue, btwn 9th and 10th). If you go earlier in the trip, you end up having to go twice. Whenever we mention going here, everyone says, "But the wait!!!" Last year we went right at 5 pm, no line, and I went once for lunch. Tonight we took a 30-minute walk, arrived at 6:30, and it was a 45-minute wait. Which was great because it gave us a chance to hang out at the Ramen Bar (no, really, it's made of ramen, well anyway ramen under glass) and have drinks and Yamitsuki Goma Kyuri--cucumber and toasted sesame oil appetizer.

The place is like a nightclub, quite noisy, especially with the loud and enthusiastic greeting for each new patron (a much more boisterous version of the classic Japanese restaurant irasshaimase). Paradoxically this atmosphere seems to heighten the eating experience, stimulating a kind of intense focus on the flavor and texture of the food (as we noted last year). Hard to explain how fantastic this is. You have to try it sometime.

Hotate Ponzu
Lightly seared sea scallop served with yuzu kosho & ponzu sauce. And jalapeno.
Really wakes up the taste buds. Fresh garlic with a garlic press to add to your ramen.

Akamaru Modern--'The original tonkotsu' soup noodle with Ippudo's special sauce, pork belly chashu, cabage, kikurage, scallions, miso paste & fragrant garlic oil. With Nitamago--Seasoned salt boiled egg.

Tori Ramen--Salt flavored ramen noodles in 'Ippudo chintan' clear chicken and pork soup with pork loin chashu, menmaa, spinach, 1/2 boiled egg, naruto, shiso & daikon.

Annin Sorbet--Sweet tofu custard topped with your choice sorbet. We had blood orange, and were both struck with a sense memory...something fruity, something creamy, something that reminded us of family reunions....that Jello Salad with the creamy layer, what's that called?

Walked back enjoying the warm warm night air (90 degrees!) and ducked into Fish
s Eddy on Broadway and 19th for some late-night souvenir shopping. Very nice stuff there.

The remainder of the stroll was in the light of the Empire State Building. Nice hom
ing beacon.

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