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Kambi Ramen House

Critics' pick
1/5
Photograph: Chiara Marinai
Kambi Ramen
2/5
Photograph: Chiara Marinai
Kambi Ramen
3/5
Photograph: Chiara Marinai
Kambi Ramen
4/5
Photograph: Chiara Marinai
Kambi Ramen
5/5
Photograph: Chiara Marinai
Kambi Ramen
East Village

The kimchi-miso ramen

Photograph: Jeff Gurwin

New York’s ramen scene continues to flourish, with the East Village at the epicenter of the soup-and-noodle action. The recent trend has generally been toward specialization: Older ramen shops with a range of options have been upstaged by places that focus on a single type of broth—like the salt (shio) and soy (syo-yu) versions at Ramen Setagaya, and Ippudo’s famed pork rendition (tonkotsu). Considering the competition, it may seem strange that when Minca owner Shigeto Kamada decided to open a sister location to his popular East 5th Street spot, he stuck with a diverse menu selection similar to the original’s. Kambi’s advantage, though, is its flexibility: Here vegetarians can find refuge in a flesh-free steaming bowl, diners at the blond-wood bar can slurp chewy noodles in a velvety kimchi broth, and cold sufferers can detox with a chicken-soup cure. The pork stock—made from roasted bones and delivered from the open kitchen with your choice of springy thin or thick wheat noodles and slices of fatty pork—may not rival the savory and complex brew at Ippudo, but it still makes for a satisfying meal. Appetizers are limited (though we liked the gyoza stuffed with whole shrimp) and there’s no liquor license yet (BYOB until then), but despite these details, Kambi has a soothing soup for every palate.—TONY

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Venue name: Kambi Ramen House
Address: 351 E 14th St
New York

Cross street: between First and Second Aves
Venue phone: 212-228-1366
Website: http://www.newyorkramen.com
Opening hours: Tue–Sun 11:30am–11pm
Transport: Subway: L to First Ave; L, N, Q, R, W, 4, 5, 6 to 14th St–Union Sq
Price: Average ramen: $11. Cash only
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