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The Early Word on Dassara Ramen in Carroll Gardens

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Dassara isn't a typical ramen shop. From Justin DeSpirito, Lana Yang, and Josh Kaplan, the menu at Dassara does include some traditional ramen and Japanese small plates, though most of the attention paid to the restaurant thus far has focused on the Deli Ramen, made with matzo balls and Mile End smoked meat. The early word has been largely positive, with some reviewers (read: Yelpers) less than pleased with the nontraditional offerings. Here's the early word:

The Good News: Writes an excitable Yelper: "I was craving ramen and [my boyfriend] was craving steamed buns. They happen to offer both! I was happy... more than happy... this place is great. I would not compare it to anything traditional, or Ippudo, or Minca. Its a WHOLE SEPARATE entity. They never tried to sell themselves on being anything other than experimental ramen. I must confess I am HIGHLY addicted now." [Yelp]

The Bad News: That said, another Yelper wasn't as pleased with the unique offerings: "But for me, at best Dassara is heavy on promises but ultimately has nothing to say. For all the innovation, it has no soul, no attitude, no punch. It was a bowl of noodles that felt bereft of any history, tradition, lineage and failed to create any feeling of excitement. Tasted something like what I would make when I'd find myself with miscellaneous ingredients in the fridge, and the need to whip up something quickly." [Yelp]

The Awesome News: A commenter on Grub Street: "It is awesome, not disgusting. I had it (they've been having a 'soft opening' a few nights.) One of the dudes (chef? owner? who knows?) worked at Do or Dine." [Grub Street Comments]

The Nontraditional News: From Foursquare: "Don't go expecting Japanese ramen -- this isnt the traditional stuff. Soft opening menu ramen options: clam, 'deli meat', mushroom. Soups are tasty, but service is sloppy." [Foursquare]

The Coming Soon News: The creativity goes deeper than the Deli Ramen, writes Serious Eats: "Like the White Clam Mazemen, a sort of linguine and clams meets ramen mashup in a creamy, clam buttery broth inspired by a recipe from Young Man and the Sea ... In the fall, Kaplan plans to add a Creole-inspired ramen ('I just love New Orleans'), and Xi'an Famous Foods fans will appreciate this: a spicy, tingly ramen with lamb chashu, cumin, lots of chili oil, and cilantro." [SE]

The Disappointing News: Back to the Yelp: "Went for an early dinner during their soft opening and came away somewhat disappointed. While their experimentation was admirable, the lack of a traditional bowl was noticeable. Portions were on the small side. Is ramen tapas a thing now." That Yelper goes on to conclude that Dassara "will do amazing" because it doesn't have much competition in the way of ramen nearby. [Yelp]

The Solid News: Says an Eater commenter: "Went to soft opening recently and was pretty happily surprised (had the deli ramen, rice cakes, and buns). Thought the menu could be a little larger, but the food was solid, and the service was very friendly. Sure, it wasn't the single most life-altering ramen experience I've ever had, but for just starting up it stands well on its own and is an excellent addition to the hood imho." [Eater Comments]

· All Coverage of Dassara [~ENY~]


271 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY