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Need E. Vill ramen suggestion for early dinner tomorrow - one adult, one toddler.

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Looking for something in the e. village tomorrow (saturday) for a dinner around 5:30ish. I like Rai Rai Ken when I'm alone but it's too limited a menu for my daughter who will likely just want the noodles (no broth) and maybe some nori or something on top. Any recs? Low key is good - I'm saving Ippudo for my birthday! Thanks!

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Rai Rai Ken
214 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

Ippudo
65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

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  1. Don't quite understand why you're saying that Rai Rai Ken's menu is too limited when all your daughter needs will be noodles with no broth? I'm sure their chefs will be more than happy to prepare plain noodles for your daughter? (How old is she by the way, and how does she like her ramen besides just plain with nori?) Will she eat hiyashi chuka, a cold ramen noodle topped with thin strips of ham, cucumber, tamago, and sometimes charsiu?

    Ippudo is my personal favorite for ramen and will most certainly offer the noodles with no broth for your daughter in the form of kaedama. Also love the ramen at Momofuku Noodle for the perfectly poached onsen tamago, but pretty sure they won't offer noodles without broth for your daughter since they're so strict with no substitutions. (You might want to call ahead and check?) Although given that you're saving Ippudo for your bday, and Momofuku might not do the trick, you'll have to go for Tier 2 ramen. (Ippudo and Momofuku are Tier 1 in my book)

    Tier 2 ramen:
    Taisho or Oh! Taisho - seating arrangement (stools with no backs) not ideal with toddler although if you could take her to Rai Rai Ken you should be able to take her to Taisho. Their ramen is Hakata style (thin, white, straight, and firm) so if your daughter is picky and used to the style served at Rai Rai Ken, she might not like this style of noodles.

    Menkui Tei - closer to a tier 3 ramen, but very toddler friendly.

    I'm not a big fan of Minca or Setagaya, but if you do a quick search you'll see that ramen lovers are quite polarized in our tastes.

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    Minca
    536 E 5th St, New York, NY 10009

    Momofuku Noodle Bar
    171 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

    Rai Rai Ken
    214 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

    Men Kui Tei
    63 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003

    Yakitori Taisho
    5 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

    Oh! Taisho
    9 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

    Ippudo
    65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

    Ramen Setagaya
    34 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

    2 Replies
    1. re: Noodle fanatic

      I second that! Ippudo is the best. The drawback is that it seems to always be crowded. But if you go early enough (say, 5 or 5:30) you should be able to get a table without a wait.

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      Ippudo
      65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

      1. re: Noodle fanatic

        Rai Rai Ken is tiny, so if you go prepare to be a bit cramped (I do love the ramen there). I'd suggest Minca (my favorite), Ippudo (not exactly East Village but close enough, prepare to wait), Robatayaki or Kuboya which has a lighter broth not unlike Rai Rai Ken. Happy Eating!
        ___
        East Village Eats http://www.eveats.com

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        Minca
        536 E 5th St, New York, NY 10009

        Rai Rai Ken
        214 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

        Ippudo
        65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

        Robataya NY
        231 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003

        Kuboya
        536 E 5th St, New York, NY 10009

      2. Pretty much all the ramen places will be empty/low key in the early evening, with the exception of Ippudo, and even that might not be too long of a wait.

        If Ippudo is what you you've been saving up for, might as well kill 2 birds.

        But after Ippudo, I kinda feel there are all the same, decent but not exceptional. And that would apply to some of the Japanese places that don't necessarily specialize in ramen but have it on their menu.

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        Ippudo
        65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003