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U & I at Mu Ramen
Paul WagtouiczU & I at Mu Ramen

Take a peek inside Mu Ramen, now open in LIC

Written by
Rheanna O’Neil Bellomo

Husband-and-wife team Joshua and Heidy Smookler have answered your ramen prayers. After causing a food-world frenzy with their commercially and critically acclaimed pop-up noodle dinners, the cooking couple (Per Se and Buddakan, respectively) are going permanent with a full-time ramen den capped at 22 seats, ensuring that the duo can engage with each guest. Cooks double as the waitstaff, delivering plates to the kitchen counter and the communal table in the middle of the dining room. 

The tight docket of ten dishes includes four weekly rotating offerings, including the namesake bowl of oxtail broth loaded with brisket and thin Sun Noodles—Smookler’s outre ode to corned beef and cabbage. The remainder is divided into “snacks” and “treats” categories: On the former, find charred shishito peppers doused in spicy yuzu and sesame salts, while the latter hosts Smookler’s more creative plates, like the okonomiyaki, a cornmeal-and–egg-white scallion pancake smothered in house-smoked trout, tobiko pearls and shiso-bud greens, and the tebaski gyoza, a pair of battered-and-fried chicken wings treated like dumplings and stuffed with foie gras.

There's no physical bar, but an all-Japanese drinks program features imported craft beers (Oze No White Weizen, Ishikawa Belgian Pale Ale) and 60 types of sake. There are also private whiskey and wine lists curated by Smookler himself, which will be shared only upon request and highlights varietals (Sine Qua Non syrah, German rhones) that the couple shares at home. Along the edge of the minimal, wood-heavy space are bookshelves brimming with cookbooks from the Smooklers’ own kitchen, including a first edition of French Laundry, and knick knacks from their living room. “I want people to feel like they are in my home, at a dinner party,” Joshua Smookler says. “There’s no separation between myself and my guests—we’re all together.” 1209 Jackson Ave between 47th Rd and 48th Ave, Long Island City (917-868-8903,

See more photos and the full menu below:

Mu Ramen at Mu RamenPaul Wagtouicz

Uni porridge at Mu RamenPaul Wagtouicz

Uni porridge at Mu RamenPaul Wagtouicz

Mu RamenPaul Wagtouicz

Mu RamenPaul Wagtouicz


Charred edamame with yuzu salt and key lime, $6
Charred shishito peppers with yuzu aioli, $9

U & I: Uni with spicy maguro, sushi rice, sesame, roasted nori and wasabi, $15
Okonomiyaki: Scallion pancake with smoked trout, tobiko, shaved bonito and syrup, $14
Tebasky gyoza: Deep fried chicken wings stuffed with foie gras, $14
"Mu"ssels: Mussels with shallots, garlic, white wine cilantro, butter and Mu dipping sauce, $12

Mu Ramen: Oxtail and bone marrow broth with brisket, half-sour pickle, menma and cabbage, $18
Tonkotsu 2.0: Tonkotsu noodle soup with kakuni, kikurage, menma, sesame and scallions, $15
Spicy Miso: Red miso and pork broth with scallions, ground pork, menma, corn, sesame and chili oil, $15

Extra toppings
Roasted corn, $2
Menma (seasoned bamboo), $2
Kakuni (braised pork belly), $3
Ton toro (pork jowl), $4
Nitamago (seasoned egg), $2
Onsen tamago (sous vide egg), $2
Kae-dama (extra noodles), $2

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