Ippudo sounded like a good idea, until I heard that the wait can be up to two hours!! What is it with New York and these excessive wait times?! That is definitely something I will not miss when back in LA. But I did want to try it, especially since there are 43 Ippudo's in Japan and Ippudo NYC is first location outside of Japan.
I did however manage to make the 2 hour wait work in my favor. On my way home I stopped by and put my name down and came back an hour and 45 minutes later for dinner. Upon arrival I was seated immediately. Perfect! Obviously if you can't get there 2 hours before you actually want to dine, you should either A) pay someone else to go put your name down or B) go elsewhere...
Walking into the dining room, you are greeted with the the familiar shouts heard when entering a sushi restaurant, although they are even louder, longer and more enthused at Ippudo. You will be seated either at the counter or one of several communal tables.
I heard that their hirata buns were great - filled with pork or chicken and filled with lettuce and a spicy bun sauce. These may have been the best buns I've ever had - yes better than Momofuku.
We also tried the bakerutsu tofu- spicy tofu casserole served with minced pork, crunchy noodles in a spicy broth in a stone pot. This arrived to us boiling hot. It's a great appetizers for those who aren't averse to hot things - both temperature and spice.
I had to have the famous ramen...I choose the akamaru ramen, the original tonkotsu soup topped with Ippduo's special sauce, pork belly, cabbage, scallions, miso paste, kikurage (a Japanese mushroom) and garlic oil. This is definitely a great ramen, and at $14 it's incredibly filling and enough for two people...I recommend sharing.
I would love for them to open an Ippudo in LA. It's a fun, ethnic experience in a modern atmosphere at a great price.
Ippduo NYC 65 4th Ave. (212) 388-0088