At ramen shops, miso's a common soup flavoring. Month-old Ramen Misoya offers something uncommon: multiple misos.
Kome ramen delivers the fullest flavor of the three varieties on the current menu. It's "really hearty amazing ramen," reports MWinston: wavy, chewy noodles in thick, porky soup (most would call this an aka, or a red miso broth), accompanied by pork, bamboo, corn, and potato. foodwhisperer ranks it above the ramen at Ippudo, a hound favorite in the East Village. Misoya also serves ramen in a sweeter mame miso and the lighter shiro (white) miso.
Beyond noodles, the menu's still in flux, but hounds recommend pork katsu, seared-tuna salad, and deftly fried chicken kara-age, which is moist on the inside and crisp on the outside, MWinston says.
Misoya is the latest incarnation of Nori, a Japanese restaurant that has been in search of a concept. First it was a sushi bar serving Okinawan specialties, then it became a sushi bar, and now it's a noodle shop in partnership with a Japanese ramen chain. The common link has been the engaging proprietor, Nori Nishida. "Don't let the corporate website and the feeling that this is a chain scare anyone off," foodwhisperer says. "The ramen and other dishes are prepared with great care by Nori. He puts his heart and soul and knowledge of Japanese food into his cooking."
Ramen Misoya [East Village]
129 Second Avenue (between St. Marks Place and E. Seventh Street), Manhattan