Ramen Haven? ISE

Lunch during the workweek has never struck me as an opportunity for a truly enjoyable eating experience — especially working in midtown! But I went to ISE for the first time in a couple months and you know what, I think this place might have the best ramen in NYC that I’ve tasted so far.

They are not strictly a ramen place – in fact they have sushi and other Japanese staples, but they always have a lunch special menu, and always have a ramen set special. I’d almost always gotten the shoyu ramen, but today, Futoshi & Ryo and I all got the Niboshi (dried sardine) Ramen set — the broth is made of the niboshi, and the set today came with a small bowl of curry rice. This is a really solid Japanese meal! The Ramen:

Broth — flavorful and rich. Two slices of Chashu, nice combination of fat and meat. Scallions, bean sprouts and menma (braised bamboo). Nothing fancy — I would have loved a piece of nori seaweed and a hard-boiled egg — but otherwise solid. Nice noodles, and a full portion.

The curry rice — when it finally came — did not disappoint. Solid, traditional Japanese curry, with sweet pickles on the side. Nothing fancy. (sorry out of focus!!)

For $11.50, it’s not the kind of money I’d want to spend on lunch everyday, but a pretty good deal. This is the least disappointing ramen I’ve had in New York. While it is still sad that I’m not jumping up and down saying “the is the BEST ramen in NY” (still hoping that there’s a place that really blows me away and captures the flavor and satisfaction of the ubiquitous neighborhood ramen joints in Japan) if you find yourself in midtown craving ramen for lunch, def go to ISE, over Menchanko-tei (barf).

(212) 319-1494151
E 49th St. btw Lex & 3rd Ave.

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