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Is Setagaya the Romulus of Ramen?

When we announced the opening of Setagaya, the new ramen spot’s manager Charlie Huh insisted his product was more authentic than that of nearby Momofuku, prompting David Chang to post a snarky sign bragging that his noodles were made with 90 percent American ingredients. The joke, however, may be on Chang: Last Saturday at 9:45 p.m., we were told the wait at Setagaya was 30 minutes, with fifteen people (almost all of them of the Asian persuasion) lined up at the door. At Momofuku, the wait was only 20 to 25 minutes, and there were a measly eight gaijin milling about. We’ll continue to check in throughout the week, though only time will tell whether Setagaya is truly top ramen — after all, you don’t see people lining up at Beard Papa anymore. Earlier: New East Village Ramen Spot Insists It’s More Authentic Than Momofuku Related: Ramen War Brewing in East Village: Momofuku 1, Setagaya 1 [Eater]

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‘New England White’: Mystery Plus the Kitchen Sink

Like his 2002 smash The Emperor of Ocean Park, Stephen L. Carter’s New England White is a mystery plus. A mystery plus domestic melodrama. A mystery plus social satire. A mystery plus an examination of the black upper crust. Carter, also a law professor at Yale, borrows from the murder and legal-thriller genres, throws in a governmental conspiracy, and even (as the title hints) takes a few more literary cues from Hawthorne and his New England brethren. Some critics feel the result is a little too much; others think it’s just right.

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