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Totto Ramen

Critics' pick
Photograph: Alex Strada
Totto Ramen
Hell's Kitchen

Like a traditional Japanese ramen-ya, this narrow, below-street-level noodle joint is designed for quick meals. Most seats are along a counter, behind which the chefs crisp pork slices with a propane torch and tend to bubbling stockpots. The specialty here is paitan ramen, a creamy soup that’s a chicken-based variation on Hakata, Japan’s famous tonkotsu (pork) broth. The most basic version, the Totto chicken, is a flavorful, opaque soup bobbing with thin, straight noodles and slow-cooked pork ridged with satiny fat. The real winner, however, is the miso ramen, enriched with a scoop of nutty fermented soybean paste and wavy egg noodles. Ramen is generally

a feast unto itself, but you can bulk up a meal with sides like char siu mayo don—a mound of rice heaped with more unctuous pork, yuzu-accented mayonnaise and raw sliced scallions.

Venue name: Totto Ramen
Contact:
Address: 366 W 52nd St
New York

Cross street: between Eighth and Ninth Aves
Opening hours: Mon–Fri noon–midnight; Sat, Sun 5–11pm
Transport: Subway: C, E, 1 to 50th St
Price: Average ramen: $10. Cash only
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