No heat, no hot water in my house - its officially ramen season in Brooklyn
Went to Ganso today. Very nicely done - close to superb. Place needs support -its good for the neighborhood. Interestingly, it was very easy to drive over and park on the street (Livingston - lots of spaces made it easy). Very nice fried chicken, although I wish there was a spicy dipping sauce. Spicy ramen was very good - by my comparison, the broth was better than Menchanko Tei but not as good as Totto Ramen (but great for Downtown Brooklyn). Left feeling warm and satisfied before returning to my chilly chilly apartment. Are there any other respectable ramen places in Brooklyn and Queens? I have read snippets about Zuzu Ramen on 5th Avenue in Park slope but not much else. Is it really Ganso or Manhattan?
Zuzu Ramen is actually on 4th Ave...but I've never tried it, so I can't comment. I have looked at the menu a few times, though, and my understanding is that it's not strictly traditional Japanese ramen, but rather has a few nontraditional flavor profiles.
There is the already mentioned Naruto Ramen as well, but I was not impressed on my visit. The broth was bland. It wasn't just that it tasted flat, with no complex flavor and richness I want from my ramen soup, but it wasn't even salty enough, which I have never encountered at a ramen joint. There are plenty of places with salted broth that still tastes flat, but Naruto's was both flat and underseasoned. The friend I went with also agreed with me. It was a few months ago so I don't remember which ones we ordered, but we both ordered different types of ramen and were both disappointed (and my friend and I both have experience with good ramen - I am half Japanese/born there, and my friend has spend two years living there).
However, it may have been an off night, so I'm willing to try again. I also live very close to Naruto, and I have noticed they have $7 ramen on Tuesday nights, which is the cheapest ramen I've encountered in NYC...it's almost the price you pay for ramen in Japan. As much as I miss good ramen and will pay Ippudo prices when I want something worthy, it still hurts every time I get the check, since no place in NYC is better than the best $7 ramen in Japan.
There is also a place in Prospect Heights that my sister has recommended. It is supposed to be quite good. It's called Chuko and is on Vanderbilt and Dean, I plan to try it eventually. It's a bit hard since my boyfriend only thinks of ramen as instant ramen, and has never tried real ramen...but also refuses to try, because he hates instant. Sigh.