Friday, August 7, 2009

Posts that I never got around to posting: 49th ramen restaurant welcomed on St. Mark's

This is only two months old now!


foundconnections said...

Uh, ramen is not just a generic name for noodles. It's a distinctive Japanese food (adapted from the Chinese) that made its first appearance about a hundred years ago.

For the record, Rai Rai Ken is what most ramen places in Japan look like. May Chan and Momofuku are the hipster version of that.

Pho is Vietnamese. But then, shabu-shabu is Japanese. And this place apparently serves Korean liquor. That is pan-Asian.

EV Grieve said...

Thanks for the clarification, foundconnections.

foundconnections said...

Sure. I don't want to come off as nitpicky, I just happen to have an interest in ramen. I'm really curious about why there's so much ramen in the East Village, who eats it, and why more restaurants keep coming.

It seems like there must be some overlap between Japanese immigrants and the food trendies and who knows who else, because some of these ramen places (Rai Rai Ken and maybe Minca and Setagaya) are very similar to what you would find in Japan in terms of layout and the kind of food that's served.

Others aren't. (Ippudo is a Japanese chain and has pretty authentic taste, but I think most Japanese would find it weird to eat ramen in a luxurious looking place like their 4th Avenue store. May Chan is pretty clearly not, now that I've seen pictures of the inside. Ditto for Momofuku Noodle Bar.)

Basically, I'm curious as to who the "target audience" is here, but it seems like different restaurants are aimed at different types of people.

EV Grieve said...

Not at all. I'm glad to know the distinctions.

I, too, would like to know why more like-minded places seemingly keep opening. Wouldn't mind having a little more variety.