Shigetoshi “Naka” Nakamura, one of Japan’s most widely-recognized ramen toques, dazzled New York audiences in 2015 with his steamy, skillfully balanced XO miso ramen at Sun Noodle’s Ramen Lab. After a stint as the noodle company’s corporate chef, Nakamura heads down the street to go solo with his debut ramen-ya, an 18-seat outfit set where he peddles that miso bowl along with a curry-spiced ramen and his signature shoyu variety. The latter employs the chef’s famed stock—chicken bones simmered with ginger and a proprietary soy-sauce blend—and comes topped with spinach, chashu (pork belly) and scallion oil, with a noodle choice of house-made strands or the Sun Noodle standard. Diners can tuck into the bowls, as well as appetizers like teppan gyoza (pork, cabbage), at wood-fitted two-top tables and a no-frills counter.
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