At this buzzy Brooklyn ramen joint—reminiscent of a less sceney Momofuku with its natural-wood aesthetic, hipster waitstaff and ’90s hip-hop soundtrack—Morimoto vets Jamison Blankenship and David Koon bring their high-end training to Japan’s deceptively complex soul food. The pair has plenty to show for their tinkering: a gorgeous soft egg that spills its yolk into a complex and buttery miso broth; fat, springy noodles bobbing in the comforting soy broth; and a rich yet restrained tonkotsu, vivid with baconlike porkiness. Yet for each inspired tweak there are small missteps, like poached chicken breast so soft and moist that it provides no textural contrast and gets lost in the soup. A selection of bright, creative snacks—crispy brussels sprouts laced with red chilies and fish sauce, eggplant sliders encrusted with panko—help pick up the slack, rounding out Chuko’s appeal as a worthy neighborhood hang.
552 Vanderbilt Ave
|Cross street:||between Bergen and Dean Sts|
|Opening hours:||Tue–Sun 5:30pm–midnight|
|Transport:||Subway: B, Q to Seventh Ave; 2, 3 to Bergen St|
|Price:||Average bowl of ramen: $12. Cash only|