From Bryan: “Thought I’d let you know that Ramen Co. has opened its doors [at 100 Maiden Lane] despite having the paper still on the windows. I spoke to the owner who mentioned this week will be a soft opening. It resides at 100 Maiden Lane in the old Yushi space (entrance is actually on Pearl St.) If you recall, this is the same guy who dazzled last summer’s Smorgasburg in Brooklyn with his Ramen Burger creation. Hurry and get there before the masses find out, lines had a three hour wait last year!” When I asked if there were ramen burgers (because the word had been that this place might be only ramen), he replied: “Oh yes! They are small, recommend getting two if you’re hungry! I would have sent a picture over, but I inhaled it. Bonus note—prices are cheaper for the soft open. I went today, no line at all – most people don’t know it’s open as it’s still covered up.” (The photo above is from the Ramen Burger Facebook page.)
And Ju L. had this to say on Yelp:
RAMEN.Co only had their soft opening yesterday and are still “working out a few kinks” over the next several days – the front doors are still papered over, and Keizo Shimamoto stands watch as employees practice slinging ramen dry in their baskets and carefully spooning mirin into bowls.
The menu has just 3 things: ramen, bento, and ramen burgers (yes, the exact ones that drove all of Smorgasburg into madness last summer). Ramen is $11-12 and you get 3 options: Shoyu, Hakata, or “Brooklyn Blend.” All are tonkotsu-based broths. I tried the hakata – and it’s a rich, thoroughly pork-y broth that will give you sticky lips and a dumb grin on your face. The default bowl is simple: thin noodles (Sun brand, as expected), an add-in (meat or egg), wood-ear mushroom, garlic, scallion, broth. If you can’t imagine something as heavy as tonkotsu for lunch, don’t worry – the portion is scaled down slightly to be satisfying but not sickening.
The great (or awful, depending on who you are) thing is that this is a lunch spot. The interior is designed like any of the fast-casual eateries in the area: Tres Carnes, Chipotle, Roti, etc. Order at the front cashier and shuffle to your appropriate area to watch your food being assembled (it’s worth noting that ramen is inherently an assembly food). If you get ramen to go, noodles and broth are packed into separate plastic bowls. You won’t get that Ippudo experience that makes a $17 bowl of noodles feel worth it, and if you want to nitpick, I think RAMEN.Co hasn’t gotten the noodle texture quite right yet. Luckily, $11 for a bowl of delicious ramen to sit in your belly while you charge through spreadsheets does feel worth it.
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