"The taste of ramen isn’t just layered and complex; it’s almost murky, but a good murky, an enthralling murky, the kind of murky in which greedy eaters contentedly lose their way...At Ippudo in the East Village, which is where many of the most devoted ramen fans practice their devotion, I would sometimes look up from my ramen and realize that I hadn’t acknowledged my companions for several minutes, and had in fact forgotten that they were there..."
But it's not all mesmerizing murkiness:
"There’s remarkable unevenness here, exemplified by the shockingly fishy black cod I had one night. There’s unevenness even to the ramen, in which the slices of pork can be tender or tough, and in which the noodles can be just a tad too soft. With the turnover and bustle at Ippudo, consistency is clearly a challenge."
Still on a pizza kick, Alan Richman files on three NYC newcomers. Tonda: "the crusts are flabby, tasteless, barely charred, and lacking the puffy outside ring..." Ignazio's: "The crusts were hard, flat, bland..." Emporio: "The crust was thin, supple, and strong." [GQ]
Gael Greene finds some hits, some misses, and some beef penis at Michael Huynh's Pho Sure: "We’re sharing Pho Real, a mound of vermicelli in fragrant broth topped with rare beef, so thin, it quickly turns beige and is totally boring...we’re happier sampling perfectly fried salt-and-pepper soft-shell crab on a yuzu-kiwi sauce, and remarkable green mango salad..." [Insatiable Critic]
The RG files on the new late night menu at Tribeca's Bubby's, giving the restaurant three stars: "Florent's French onion soup and steak frites used to taste pretty good at 4 in the morning. So do Bubby's chocolate chip pancakes and a blood orange mimosa. And their wonderfully dense mac and cheese, seasoned with nutmeg and crusted in corn-flake crumbs." [NYDN]
While Plattypants takes another break, the Robs award two UG stars to Williamsburg's El Almacen: "The rustic Argentine restaurant already has enough going for it culinarily...even before the arrival of an impending beer-and-wine license...The avocado fries...They’re as toothsome a snack as you’ll find anywhere." [NYM]
THE ELSEWHERE: Oliver Schwaner-Albright gives Roberta's in Bushwick a second rave in the Under, TONY awards just two stars to the disappointing Pranna, Sietsema tries the Druze cuisine at Gazala Place on 9th Ave., Tables for Two gives us a history lesson in paella while reviewing Socarrat, and Sarah DiGregorio tries the new Sichuan spot in Brooklyn's Chinatown, Metro Cafe.
THE BLOGS: Sietsema has some early feedback for La Barra, NYC Foodie deems Fatty Crab UWS "unbelievable and mind-blowing!", Nick Solares gives a B to Third Ave.'s 'inoteca, Writing with my Mouth Full tries out Pylos in the East Village, and eateryROW checks in on a classic, John's on 12th Street.