New York is finally getting a restaurant entirely focused on tsukemen, the style of ramen where room temperature noodles are dipped into an ultra-hot, ultra-rich broth. But here’s the really promising part: It will be run by a person with years of experience at LA’s wildly popular Tsujita.
TabeTomo, opening this fall at 131 Avenue A near St. Marks Place in East Village, comes from Tomotsugu Kubo, who worked at destination tsukemen restaurant Tsujita since 2015. According to his bio, he started off in a Tokyo location and eventually was promoted to help open the California Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle Annex — a restaurant that now boasts one of LA’s longest waits.
Kubo’s East Village restaurant will have a modest 24 seats, plus a 15-seat bar, and like Tsujita, will go hard on tsukemen. Here, the broth will be tonkotsu that’s been simmered for more than two days, and it’s accompanied by a “noodle bucket” filled with a huge amount of ramen noodles, which the restaurant describes as thicker and chewier than most varieties on the wider ramen market. Vegetarian tsukemen, donburi rice bowls, and starters such as fried chicken skin will be on deck as well.
Tsukemen isn’t totally absent from the NYC dining scene — restaurants like Momosan, EAK Ramen, Ippudo, Ramen Lab, and Ramen Shack either have it on the menu or have had pop-ups offering it. Bassanova in Chinatown has a particularly large section of its menu dedicated to the style, where broth is separated from the noodle. But though New York has become ramen crazy over the years, tsukemen hasn’t quite picked up in popularity the way it has in LA. There, Tsujita has become an essential ramen purveyor of the noodle-obsessed town.
TabeTomo is slated to open in November. Stay tuned for more.