Forget the pop-up setting, Smorgasburg’s high-seat counter at Whole Foods Bowery’s second-floor mess hall that resembles nothing so much as an airport tequila bar. And never mind that there’s a guy right over there hunched into a nearby food-court chair snoring like an English bulldog. All that matters is that here is where you’ll find some of the most immensely satisfying ramen in town. Yuji Haraguchi’s shoyu (soy-sauce-based) style is first-rate, but what you want is the much-talked-about mazemen (or brothless) ramen. The pasta-carbonara-inspired version, topped with bacon, poached egg, and kale, is fantastic; another, with smoked salmon, Camembert, and lemon, even better. Toppings aside, the key to the mazemen is the fettucine-shaped alkaline noodles made expressly for Haraguchi by Sun Noodle in New Jersey. (What Pat LaFrieda is to bespoke burger blending, Sun Noodle is to springy strands of custom-made dough.) These things are lush and flavorful with a bafflingly great chew. Describing them as perfectly al dente doesn’t even come close.Recommended Dishes
Salmon-and-cheese mazemen or bacon-and-egg mazemen, $9.