the thing that makes the place truly special is that it is connected to a hostess bar. and in fact, the next time i come here, it will be after 10pm and i will pay a girl to feed me my noodles while sitting on my lap.
it WAS fun to imagine the potential iniquities that might go on mere feet from our table. however, while standing outside, the girls that were walking into the hostess half of the restaurant were pretty nasty and that fantasy was immediately popped.
it should be noted also, that i just came back from 2.5 weeks of travelling in hong kong and thailand, where it is nearly impossible to get a bad bowl of noodles... so my noodle minimum base had been lifted quite high.
i had the kotteri style ramen... i am no ramen aficionado, but have had my fair share stateside and in japan. perhaps i was confused by the shoyu tonkotsu flavor profile as i'm usually an all pork or nuthin kind of ramen guy... i thought the soup base was salty and sort of one dimensional. like a bad lambert shaded 3d rendering or a piranesi space. i see the moves and intentions but the depth and soul were not evident.
also, while i like thin hakata style noodles, this version had little life and spring to them. maybe it was an off night, but i preferred the ones at hakata.
ok, just days before, i was eating crab egg noodles that just leapt out of the bowl on suhkumwit soi 38, insanely complex crispy fish skin tom yam sen lek noodles on soi 26 and rolled noodles with crispy pork belly and unctuous organ bits in yeowarat, and delicous bouncily crisp shrimp dumpling noodles at tsim tsai gee in central hong kong.. .its hard to live up to this.
we also had kaki fry (4 pieces), hanpen cheese (4 pieces) and tako yaki (which should be noted are of the deep fried variety and not the traditional griddled in dimpled cast iron takoyaki pan variety. similar to the ones at sasaya.
like the noodles, everything was just average or slightly above. but still delicious don't get me wrong... after all its deep fried!
in all fairness, the place deserves more like 3.5 or 4 stars, but after all the hype i just needed to offer a differing opinion...