setagaya ramen

It’s not every day that I feel like…or at least pretend to be Jack Bauer. On a recent trip to New York, though, I had such a tight schedule that I constantly heard the “beep-clunk…beep-clunk…” of the advancing “24” clock.

I had it all planned out. I would arrive in New York at 9:15pm. I only had carry-on luggage so I figured I could get out of the airport by 9:30. I should be able to get to my hotel by 10, check in, drop off my luggage, then go to Ippudo. According to Google Maps, I should be able to take the subway and get there in about 30 mins. Perfect. Ippudo closes at 11pm.

“Hi folks, from the cockpit. This is captain you’re-not-getting-ramen-tonight. There’s some traffic at the airport and it looks like we’re going to be circling for a bit. We expect to be landing in about 30 mins.” Thirty precious minutes! (beep-clunk. beep-clunk.) @#*&^@#. It’s ok….it’s ok. I have a Plan B. Jack Bauer always has a backup plan! Ramen Setagaya recently opened a new location at Union Square. That location’s open until 11:30. I should just make it. (beep-clunk. beep-clunk.)

We touched down a little after 10 o’clock. I make it to my hotel and fire up the computer to look up Setagaya’s directions and phone number. “We’re sorry. That number has been disconnected or is no longer in service.” Wha—?! But they just had a soft opening in March! I decide to head down there anyway, stomach rumbling. I rush down to the subway and…waited…and waited…and waited. Apparently the subway was taking its sweet time getting to my station, because everyone around me kept looking down the tunnel. (beep-clunk. beep-clunk.)

I managed to walk off in the wrong direction after getting off the subway. Eep. After 2 blocks, I realize my mistake and turn around. I speed-walk past some police officers who eye me suspiciously. It was already 11:15. (beep-clunk. beep-clunk.) Nervous thoughts ran through my head…will they run out of soup? Did their soft opening get pushed back? Are they going to turn me away since it’s so late? (beep-clunk. beep-clunk.) I almost passed Setagaya when I arrived at 11:20 .

…What I didn’t expect was this:
setagaya ramen

So wait…they are open…even though the phone hasn’t been hooked up yet…but they decided not to open for dinner…tonight…of all nights…

setagaya ramen

Sigh…hungry…hungry…it’s almost midnight and I haven’t had dinner yet. Dejected, I start heading back to my hotel and wait…what’s this?! Is it the glowing light of plan C? A heavenly choir sings! A light shines on this street vendor! I heart NY!


I guess I was destined not to have ramen tonight, but at least I had a wonderful lamb pita. The Kwik Meal cart is at the corner of 45th and Ave of the Americas and anyone who wants a delicious and filling pita. Ramen Setagaya, tonight I thumb my nose at you!

‘Night folks!


5 thoughts on “almost ramen review: ramen new york”

  1. @Kevin: I’ve been to Rai Rai Ken, and I enjoyed it, especially the atmosphere. I wasn’t able to go this time. Maybe next time!

    @s: thanks! I have actual reviews coming, I just haven’t had a chance to write them up yet 😛

  2. My friends and I (huge ramen fans) love your blog. It is very extensive! We recently had an excellent ramen experience in NYC that you should check out on your next trip. It is Minca Ramen Factory in the East Village. Check out our review on And keep the amazing ramen reviews coming!

    1. @IForkNewYork: Darn, I actually walked by Minca years ago right after I ate at Rai Rai Ken, but I was too stuffed to eat another bowl. I’ll definitely try it next time I’m in NY. Thanks for the tip and kind words!

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