There is quite a lot of Japanese expat culture here in NYC. I thought that as opportunity and occasion warrants it, I'd share some of it. One of my favorite ramen noodle joints is Ippudo over on 4th Avenue between 9th & 10th streets.
There are quite a number of ramen places in NYC and have been for a longtime. I remember going to one with my dad when he worked in midtown in the late 1970's. I distinctly remember the long counter with Japanese businessmen belly to the bar slurping up the broth.But Ippudo is a different animal. In Japan Ippudo had the reputation of the noodle joint the college kids would go to. But once transferred to Manhattan Isle it becomes Ramen as high art.
Being a creature of habit, I always go for the shoyu ramen, which is my favorite. I always order the edamame, a house salad, a cold Kirin beer and an order of the pork buns as well.
But go early, as the place fills up quick. They don't take reservations and waits for a table over an hour are pretty much par for the course during the busy hours.
A few blocks away from Ippudo, over on 3rd Avenue & 10th Street is the best downtown Japanese market - Sunrise Mart. I get sent here regularly by my wife to buy industrial size bags of rice. A quick ride up a small, non-descript elevator dumps you into this second floor grocery that seemed transported directly from Tokyo. The place is stocked to the gills with many typical Japanese staples. A dizzying array of tofu, octopus tentacles, Pocky of all flavors, and thousands of other small items which will leave the non-Japanese bewildered and bemused.