Tabata Noodle Restaurant

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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Tabata Ramen at Tabata Noodle Restaurant
Hell's Kitchen
While many ramen joints stake their reputation on specific regional variants of the Japanese comfort food, this no-frills spot—conveniently located in the shadow of Port Authority—opts instead for a something-for-everyone approach. For a quick bite before hopping a Greyhound, you could do worse than the tan tan men, a chili-oil-laced soup thickened with sesame paste and topped with spicy ground pork. But other offerings fall flat, hampered by subpar ingredients and careless preparation. The miso ramen looks and tastes more like a salty chicken broth with a slap-up stir-fry (limp cabbage, crinkle-cut carrots, rubbery pork) dumped on top. And the namesake ramen—built around a South East Asian–style curried coconut soup—is spoiled by grayish nubs of chicken and thin, flaccid noodles. Our advice: Screw convenience, trek 12 blocks north to Totto Ramen and get in line with the other ramen fanatics. You won’t regret it.
Venue name: Tabata Noodle Restaurant
Address: 540 Ninth Ave
New York
Cross street: between 39th and 40th Sts
Opening hours: Daily 11:30am–11pm
Transport: Subway: A, C, E to 42nd St–Port Authority
Price: Average ramen: $9. Disc, MC, V
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