There is the risk of falling into a pork-induced coma after lapping up a bowl of Ippudo's rich tonkatsu ramen, but the addictively tasty Kyushu-style noodle soup is well worth the crash. Ippudo may be a chain (43 shops in Japan and one in New York City) but it doesn't taste like it and the dining room is stylish, modern and cozy.
There is always jazz playing, to drown out the symphony of slurps, and the entire staff will shout their salutations when you come and go. When your bowl arrives, feel free to take full advantage of the many condiments provided: grind in some sesame seeds, press a fresh clove of garlic and scoop in some spicy greens or bean sprouts from their wooden pots. Make sure to add a soft-boiled egg when you order: the sunset-orange yolk is always perfectly creamy.
by Rachel Krampfner