Yesterday marked the official opening day for the first New York branch of the famous Japanese ramen chain, Ippudo. Anticipation has been running high for this one, and the press preview (see the full gallery) attracted no less than eight major Japanese media outlets. Chances are if you are a real ramen fanatic, you went already in the restaurant's soft opening stages. If you haven't been yet, know that the early reports have been mostly glowing, especially among the city's pork lovers (Andrea Strong called the ramen "liquid pig").
Here's the breakdown. There are two dining rooms, a sake bar, an open kitchen for non-ramen dishes, and an open ramen bar. As is the trend these days, they've got a communal table and some more intimate numbers in the back. And as for food, the main draw here of course is the ramen, which features homemade noodles, broth made from bones cooked for over 15 hours, and the customary slabs of pork and cabbage. By the looks of the early reports, the media buzz, and the general design, this place is going to be something. Major papers: dispatch your Underground Gourmets, your $25 and Unders, and maybe even you fat cat big timers down to the EVill. Further reading here and here.