Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop: SPICY RED CHILI RAMEN (NYC)

Address: 600 11th Ave, NYC, 10036

Website: http://www.ivanramen.com/en/slurp-shop/

Ramen: Spicy Red Chili Ramen ($14) w. additional Soft Egg (free)

Price: $14

REVIEW: Located within the Gotham West Market, the Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop is diner-style ramen at it’s best, you sit at the counter, watch the cooks whip up their noodley magic and voila, a bowl of steaming goodness is yours to enjoy. I opted for the SPICY RED CHILI RAMEN which states it’s a “7.5 out of 10 on the heat scale”, sounds perfect to me. While the bowl I was presented was smaller than anticipated, the broth spice level was indeed perfect, a good heat that caused a sweat but I could still taste other flavors. What I really enjoyed about this bowl was the inclusion of Rye Noodles, that gave the ramen a unique bite and texture, I really liked it and thought that it raised the overall game of the dish. The ground pork was great but I was disappointed with the egg, one was flavorless, while the other was cold. I would definitely come back to try another dish if I was in the area but if you are looking for a spicy little number to curb your lunchtime hunger without putting you to sleep afterwards, the SPICY RED CHILI RAMEN might be for you… just don’t go for the additional egg.

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SCORE: rating_3

Totto Ramen: MEGA PAITAN RAMEN (NYC)

Address: 464 W. 51st Street (between 9th & 10th), NYC, 10019

Website: http://tottoramen.com

Ramen: Mega Chicken Paitan ($16) with extra Egg ($2) & Extra Spicy Rayu ($2)

Price: $20

REVIEW: It’s a tiny, hot hole in the wall in Hell’s Kitchen but the Mega Paitan Ramen was honestly the first bowl of ramen I couldn’t finish without my stomach bursting, it was that large. Known as the “bestseller” on the menu, this monster bowl of goodness starts with Totto’s house Chicken Paitan broth but then has not one, not two, not three but four different types of pork added to it: Chair Siu slices, pulled Char Siu, pork belly & ground pork. I added a heaping cup of “Extra Spicy Rayu” to the broth that gave it an excellent lingering heat without taking away from the rich broth. The egg itself was excellent, the cabbage crisp, the garlic pungent and overall, it was a flavor extravaganza that I for one could not finish. Probably too much to tackle for someone looking for a regular bowl of noodles (its a lot of pork and a big portion), so unless you want to climb a mountain, I’d stick with Totto’s regular options rather than taking on the Mega Paitan Ramen!

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SCORE: rating_4

Jinya Ramen Express: SPICY MISO TONKOTSU (LA)

Address: 6801 Hollywood Blvd #317, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Website: http://jinya-ramenbar.com

Ramen: Spicy Miso Tonkotsu with Egg & Black Garlic Oil

Price: $12

REVIEW: Choose your broth! Choose your noodle! Choose your topping! If someone told me that there was decent fast food Ramen out there I would have laughed, I did laugh but then they told me it was a Jinya joint and I said “I’m in”. Jinya Ramen Express is exactly how it sounds, your Ramen, their quality, done quickly and I gotta admit, it’s pretty tasty. I went for the Spicy Miso Tonkotsu broth (thick, rich, flavorful), the thin noodles, extra green onion & cilantro (fresh flavors), ground pork (love the texture), corn (my fave), black garlic oil (an extra level of rich flavor) and some additional spice paste (to kick the whole thing up a notch). To top it all off, they do a killer Egg! I was shocked at how well and how quickly it all came together, the multitude of flavors were all great, anchored by a solid multi-leveled, tasty broth. I would highly recommend this Express Ramen bar and I will definitely return next time I am in Hollywood!

Score: rating_3