“Gaijin” is the none-too-polite Japanese term for a foreigner, but the American chefs of this noodle joint clearly take pride in their outsider status, fusing local ingredients with traditional technique. It's surely one of the best bowls of ramen around, and you can smell the soup before you're even past the front door. The best seats are at the counter, where you can chat with the chef as he assembles bowls of light, fresh shoyu ramen filled with thick house-made rye noodles and caramelized pork belly chashu. Appetizers are also notable, like the karaage: crunchy-coated, tender chicken thighs with miso ranch. Desserts, such as the black-sesame ice cream over miso-salted caramel, matcha meringue and coconut flakes, mix sweet and savory for the win.
- MICHELIN guide inspectors
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