Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Italian Ramen?

It looked really awesome. I thought it was going to be a normal ramen, covered with cherry tomatoes. Doesn't that sound kind of good? Well, this wasn't...bad... but it wasn't anywhere near awesome. I was the only one in the crowded restaurant who ordered this, so that's saying something.

A break between classes meant that I had to try out the NY Ramen Square in Tachikawa. All the magic of what I assume New York is like, plus overpriced ramen from famous shops. I heard that Ippudo has a shop in Manhattan that charges about $13 for a bowl, so I guess the overpriced factor is for authenticity.

Yeah, I know about a month ago I said that ramen theme parks are lame.

What I ate was cold ramen noodles in a cold tomato soup with a couple dozen cheery tomatoes on top. There was a little basil on it as well. It cost 950 yen. The noodles gripped the sauce really well, but they were super tough. Normally, this is a good thing, but I was wearing work clothes and had to eat really, really slow. Extra slow because the texture of the noodles made them like a slingshot of tomato sauce aimed at my light purple dress shirt.

Wine would have been nice. It was on the menu, but for some reason I didn't want to drink before going back to work. This is ironic, because one of my standard conversation topics with my adult students is booze.

Back to ramen. I'll try some other places here over the next month or so, since I work in Tachikawa every Saturday now.

What's in Tachikawa? There's a few things, but one little bonus is that you can ride what I call the 80s jumpsuit train.

It's all about that color scheme. Anything that pairs turquoise with fuchsia is worth the extra cash you have to pay to ride it. Yeah, this is an express train that costs about $5 more to ride, and will save you a whole 4 minutes from Shinjuku to Tachikawa. My advice... hide in the bathroom.

There is a Krispey Kreme in Tachikawa.

"I can has ramens now?"

If you want to go to NY Ramen Square in Tachikawa, take the JR Chuo line from Shinjuku to Tachikawa. You don't have to even go onto the street, there is a bridge from the station to the Area building. Exit on the south side and you will see Area in front of you. Go up to the 3rd floor. There is no admission charge, and ramen is around 950 yen at most shops for the special versions with all the good toppings. Enjoy, and let me know if you go on a Saturday!

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