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Is Ippudo still insanely busy? Haven't been in a long time and was thinking about going tonight for dinner around 8 for 5 people. How long would the wait be?

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  1. I think it's busier than ever. I'd expect a 45-minute quote for a 75-minute wait.

    1. I would imagine for tonight, at least 1 hour or an hour and a half.

      1. If you guys are looking to spend money on drinks, you can chill at the bar once you put your name down. the bar gets real busy.

        1. you will have a 2hour wait for sure

          8 Replies
          1. re: foodwhisperer

            um yeah walked by and didn't bother to ask, it looked insane. guess I'll have to go during lunch on a weekday again.

            1. re: lanadai

              Lunch during the week is no wait. Dinner it seems is always over 40 minutes during the week and an hour and half or more on weekends. Lunch on weekend has a wait too. When its too crowded i change modes and go to soba ya because its in same neighborhood

              1. re: foodwhisperer

                Ha, I tried to go to Soba Ya after walking by Ippudo and it was an hour wait. Ended up going to Momofuku Noodle bar but still had to wait an hour b/c there was a table of 5 who just wouldn't leave, took them 20 minutes to pay the bill and the waitress did try to get them out. I had my bf and his friend go to get some takoyaki to stave off my hunger while we waited. Is there anything around that area on a Friday or weekend where you don't have to wait?

                1. re: lanadai

                  There is this little japanese place just around the corner to stave off starvation - they serve the deep fried octupus balls, which weren't bad

                  1. re: Boss77

                    Yep that's what I did while I was waiting for a table at momo noodle bar

                    1. re: lanadai

                      Anybody know the name of the takoyaki place?

                      1. re: fdb

                        That's probably Otafuku, on E. 9th St. (near 2nd Ave). They also have yakisoba there as well.

                        236 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003

                        1. re: baobao

                          yep, and they have okonomiyaki too and shaved ice in the summer.

          2. I went there about a month ago and it was a major annoyance. The only reason I stayed is because by the time i thought of somewhere new to go and actually went there, I might as well just wait. I don't think its worth the wait in the winter when its this cold b/c the bar area gets really really crowded since its too cold to wait outside. While I like Ippudo, I don't think it's worth an hour wait. Does anyone else think their noodels are a bit too al dente, by the way?

            6 Replies
            1. re: Renguin

              I stopped by Ippudo Thursday before last around 8:30pm and was told there would be a one hour wait. As the bar area was totally full, ordering a snack and a beer at the bar was not really a comfortable option either. Headed to Ramen Setagaya on 1st Ave. and my dining partner and I were seated immediately at the bar. I thought it was quite good, but the broth not as rich and flavorful as Ippudo. However Setagaya is less expensive and still pretty good if you are in the mood for ramen. You may be right about the noodles at Ippudo. But I think that it is broth that is the real the star there.

              1. re: boccalupo

                Soba Koh is another choice on 5th st. great sliced duck dish and good soba. Its a small place but i have never waited there. Theres Minca on 5th st. and kambi on e.14tth st. Setagaya is on 1st ave. and now on st. marks also, its reasonable , not as good as ippudo.

                1. re: foodwhisperer

                  Yeah Soba Koh is good but it's smaller and I didn't want to take the chance of walking down and not getting a table. Just don't want to walk around too much b/c it's cold and I'm lazy. Setagaya isn't crazy busy anymore?

                  1. re: lanadai


                    I don't believe I've ever had to wait for a table at Soba Koh, but then again, I've always gone either by myself or with one other person.

                    1. re: lanadai

                      Setagaya is not crazy busy any more and now that there are two locations, it looks like there might not even be a wait at all sometimes!

                      1. re: kathryn

                        Kathryn and Lanadai are both right - ive never had to wait at soba koh (don't know why b/c its way better than soba ya) and setagaya is not that busy anymore

              2. I only go to Ippudo late, and I have never waited.

                11 Replies
                1. re: hungrycomposer

                  What time range for no wait? Is that true on the weekends as well?

                  1. re: D...DF

                    I always go shortly before closing, and there has been plenty of space for a deuce at their big communal table. I've never gone with a large group, or on the weekend.

                    1. re: hungrycomposer

                      Cool, I'll give that a shot. Thanks.

                        1. re: pulled pork

                          i've only been for dinner but i'm sure lunch is a better time to go. i actually ate at ippudo last night. 45 minute wait for 4 people.

                          1. re: mch

                            The wait at Ippudo is extremely annoying. Everytime I have had to wait 45 mins plus then get shown through to the back where there are numerous tables lying empty. Has anyone else noticed this? I don't think they are as busy as they make out...they just have this annoying front-of-the-house policy whereby you will never get seated straight away for some reason. Last time it happened I was pretty annoyed...the place was half-empty in the back yet jammed at the front with people waiting for no apparent reason, And that was a saturday lunch time around 2pm.

                            1. re: Scotty100

                              I think you may be on to something. The last time I was there I was ny myself, and wanted to sit at the empty bar, but still had a to wait for around twenty minutes.

                              1. re: quizkiddonniesmith

                                Yes - I am totally convinced Ippudo is not as busy as they would like you to think it is. Next time you are asked to wait 45-60 mins at the front take a wander down into the dining room and see for yourself the number of empty booths/tables/seats at the communal table...it's infuriating...!

                                1. re: Scotty100

                                  Scotty, youre right,,, always empty spots. I have found that when i used to walk out when they said 45 minutes ,ive been putting my name on the llist and its more like 20 minutes. But they do always have empty seats

                                  1. re: foodwhisperer

                                    That's disconcerting considering I want to try this place! Why would they shoot themselves in the foot by not seating and feeding folks right away? Maybe they're perpetually understaffed?

                                    1. re: judibean

                                      I don't think it's a matter of being understaffed. I was talking to somebody I work with who is Japanese and told me she experienced the same thing. They told her the wait was going to be long. She looked in and saw a bunch of empty seats and said something to them in Japanese. They sat her right away. She thinks Ippudo is trying to create a buzz by having them seem more busy than they actually are.

                2. I went for the first time last night. I made a reservation (you can only do them in person the same day, and it just means they'll give you the next available table, not an actual reserved table). Even so, we ended waiting about 25 min., I guess not too bad since they were telling walk-ins it would be 1+1/2 hours. This is on a Monday night at 8pm. So, yeah, still busy!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: citysweettooth

                    Definitely check out Rai Rai Ken in East Village.

                  2. that door policy kinda pisses me off. really dumb.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: bigjeff

                      eh, i live 3 blocks away and walk over whenever i want a reservation...ive rarely had to wait longer than 5 minutes.

                      ippudo rules.

                      1. re: sam1

                        planning to go tomorrow night for the first time but reading all this about "make us look busy" door policies just sounds terrible. for 2, around 10pm? hope they don't make us go through hoops.

                        1. re: bigjeff

                          Hopefully 10P is late enough where the guys will just want to serve you and leave. I was there for lunch. Only waited for about 5-10 minutes. But when I got seated, there were a lot of empty seats. In any other restaurant, you would have been sat right away. I originally thought they did because they were understaffed. But reading other reports and from what that Japanese girl said to me, I'm pretty sure the staffing isn't a problem.

                          1. re: Miss Needle

                            They're probably trying to give you an opportunity to shell out the $9 they charge for a 2oz. pour of Iichiko at the little bar there in the front. A buck for the shochu and $8 for the fancy decor. And now I hear they're putting peanut butter in their miso broth. Ippudo might be 3 blocks away for some, but sounds like it's drifting a million miles from Fukuoka...

                          2. re: bigjeff

                            went last night and had an excellent meal! arrived around 10:15pm and the waiting area was full of pairs; we waited about 35 minutes before our party of two (they said 45-50 minutes) was seated; we were seated in the lovely paired lovechairs surrounding a wooden table with a pit full of charcoal (much cooler than it sounds). was happy to see that the place was indeed fully packed and every seat taken, instead of playing games with empty seats, etc. (which I read accounts of online beforehand). we had:

                            + akamaru with add-on of memna
                            + kasane-aji (ippudo 1-year anniversary special)

                            the place was packed, great energy, great space, great service (aside from the wait) and our seating was awesome. the akamaru was great, a large dollop of red spicy stuff and a generous spill of sesame oil; very deep flavor, rich, multi-faceted, the fixins' were varied but minimal, which i found to be perfect; it's all about the broth. the special was a pork bone and chicken broth so decidedly lighter and served with a yuzu-pepper dab which was quite strong, but delicious when added to the broth; wasn't expecting that sort of flavor in ramen but, really nice. added generous grinds from the tableside sesame dispenser. the two were a great contrast; both very rich in flavor, tastes, even texture. noodles were great; I was tempted to get the noodle add-on but the broths were so substantial that it would have been overkill.

                            we didn't order anything else and I can't imagine having starters when the soups are so substantial; we left with slightly sloshy insides but thankfully the serving of strong brown tea at the end helped alleviate some of the general fullness.

                            this place kicked setagaya's ass, menkui-tei's ass, rai rai ken's ass and pretty much any other ramen I've had (not that I've had a lot). will make return trips to sample the other choices; the alternate was to have gone to rockmeisha as well (will save for another trip).

                            as an aside, walked to momofuku milk bar and had their soft serve; so delicious, so incredibly rich and dense; can't imagine eating a whole serving; the old fashioned was very very very good, and the jelly doughnut was even better. we took both flavors home to put in the freezer; excellent value at $4 each.

                            1. re: bigjeff

                              I can't agree that this place kicks Setagaya's ass, but then I haven't been to RS since their flagship opened. Have heard subsequent reports regarding a downhill slide, but, when they opened, they served what, for me, was the most balanced bowl of ramen I've tasted in NYC.

                              I agree about the Akamaru broth at Ippudo. Nice, deep, porky flavor. It made it for me. But I also liked the extra noodles option, which reminded me of some joints I've hit in Japan. I went for it, in all its' glory. For me, the weak link was the charshu. Not bad, but nothing exciting either. The gestalt, though, made for a very good bowl.

                              I was expecting to hate Ippudo, to be honest, but wound up liking the food and digging the feng shui of the space. The place manages to affect a certain reflective and romantic quietude despite having a considerable din of noise.


                              1. re: Polecat

                                that's a great term, the gestalt of the food; toppings minimal, nice condiments, and with that broth as the anchor, each slurp and enormous spoonful was absolute pleasure. previously, I'd be all about the variety and quantity of the toppings and the "solids" in the bowl but I've a newfound (and possibly permanent) appreciation for the "liquid."

                                ya, ate at the setagaya on st marks and severely disappointed. damn!

                                1. re: bigjeff

                                  +1 on ippudo's ramen. Very very good. Here;s hoping next time I go I don't get the "no seats available wait 90 mins" nonsense.

                                  1. re: bigjeff

                                    the pork belly side topping for $3 is the amazing,,i get it on the side not in the soup ,,Ive even gotten it without getting soup ,,what a deal $3 and its amazingly good. Someone asked about a takoyaki place, the two I know are on St Marks not 9th st. theres Go Sushi , they serve the fried food out of a little kiosk type thing near the outdoor seating. Also , I believe Taisho is the other place that has tako yaki and many kinds of yakatori.
                                    Regarding the wait at Ippudo,,, lunch is not a big wait at all,,, Dinner, just put your name on the list and come back , then it wont seem like a wait,,Ive found when they say 40 minutes it really mean 25 minutes.
                                    Sometimes I wonder how the wait thing works, I wonder if you can bribe the people.. Yikes , that sounds terrible ,,but places like Joe's Stone crab, and peter luger's known for very long waits on a saturday nite ,,,it works just fine

                                    1. re: foodwhisperer

                                      Yeah but there's a difference when waiting when the place is packed full and then waiting for no apparent reason when it's half empty...