On the very first day that we set out on this Best Thing I Ever Ate mission, we attempted to go to Ippudo. Thirteen months later, we have finally eaten at the place.
|We've Actually Been Waiting in Line at Ippudo for That Long|
|With Classy Bathroom Signs Like This, No Wonder the Place is So Popular|
Well, guess what? Eating the early bird special on a rainy night in Manhattan appeals to a lot more people than we had assumed. Considering we are almost always two of the only people in any given restaurant based on our senior citizen dining times, we find the line waiting to get into Ippudo at 5:00pm unfathomable.
|Pretty Impressive Attendance for a Place with Malformed Chairs|
It seems that every time a party is seated within Ippudo's dining room, the staff lets out a whooping cheer of welcome.
For the record, this practice, in our opinions, is nothing short of horrifying.
|Someone Hand Us Some Wine, Stat, Or We're Not Going to Survive|
|In This Place, It's Shocking the Napkins Aren't Covered in Glitter|
"Stimulation?" Ginger (because we are clearly on the same idiotic wavelength) fills in.
"Yes! Too much stimulation. I can't read and listen at the same time. This place is going to give me some kind of seizure." We decide on the the Akamaru Modern Ramen, of course, but we are unsure whether we should include one of their "topping suggestions," the nitamango or the kakuni.
"I mean, I would say 'no' because I don't even know what those things are," Ginger says.
"Egg and pork belly," Vodka translates instantly, which causes Ginger to throw down her menu in shock.
"How did you -- ?"
"I previewed the menu this afternoon," Vodka confesses. "Don't worry, I didn't suddenly learn to speak Japanese."
|Though That Would Be One Heck of a Party Trick to Pull Out of Thin Air|
After ordering our wine (which comes in two varieties -- $8 or $18. Obviously, we went for the $8 version), Vodka, in a continuing show of stupidity, asks the waitress for the "chicken pork buns."
"Chicken buns," Ginger corrects her, which causes us both to launch into a fit of laughter over our own idiocy. We are so distracted with our own humor that we can barely concentrate on the waitress's prattling on about why the shrimp buns are actually the better option, so before we know it, we have agreed to her persuasions, and two steamed shrimp buns have appeared before us.
|"I Am Not a Shrimp, I Am a King Prawn." Ten Points to Anyone Who Recognizes That Reference|
|Buns of Steel Shrimp|
"No one would compare an upscale shrimp bun to a McDonald's value meal item and mean it positively except us," Vodka states.
"And that's why no one will ever understand our work," Ginger notes, as if we are food history academics rather than two dopes who just happen to know their way around a fast food menu.
|Also, the Phrase "Our Work" Is Employed As If We're Ph.D. Candidates in Nonsense|
Which, of course, means we have to taste them.
|Who Needs Any Stinkin' Broth Anyway?|
|Vodka and Ginger: Keeping Idle Waitstaff Amused Since 2011|
|So We're Not Supposed to Eat All of the Components Separately, 1950s TV Dinner-Style?|
|Mmm Mmm Good|
|And We Still Have So Many Noodles To Go!|
But please, Ippudo, PLEASE do away with the cheering.
Ippudo's Akamaru Modern Ramen: 5 stars*
*Certifiable Best Thing We Ever Ate