Called the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan is perpetually bathed in the half-light of dawn, waiting for the sun to finally win its tug of war with the moon. Enjoy Japanese fare in the comfort of New York's diurnal day-night cycle with today's Groupon: for $9, you get $20 worth of traditional Japanese ramen and more at Ramen Kuboya in the East Village.
A longtime student of the art of ramen making, founder Hiroshi Kubo selects his ingredients with all the care of a chess master choosing which game show to watch next. Using salt, sugar, and wheat imported from Japan, Kubo makes every noodle in-house for use in a bevy of flavorful menu items. Prospective noodle-slurpers can start their meal with a selection of appetizers, including the edamame, served with four types of blended sea salt ($4). For main-course-sized hungers, steamy ramen soups include the miso ramen, featuring two types of miso, house-made char su pork, bean sprouts, half a boiled egg, and scallion ($12). Those prepared to fight off feral, roaming pandas might opt for the bamboo-topped Kubo-chan soy-sauce ramen, a soy-sauce-flavored mixture of noodles and broth topped with pork, scallion, and half a boiled egg ($11). Those who, like whirlpools, can never seem to suck enough liquid nourishment into their interiors can choose from a selection of soft drinks ($2) as well as a Japanese tea service ($2).
Five Yelpers give Ramen Kuboya a four-star average:
Just because on some nights you might find chef-owner Sammy Kubo playing jazz drums at Kuboya doesn't mean that his focus is split. Even as he keeps rhythm for the delight of crowd, he still oversees a kitchen at work crafting steaming bowls of ramen and other Japanese staples. The soups are loaded with char-siu pork or chicken, crisp veggies, and miso or soy-based broth. Other homestyle menu items include katsu curry, takoyaki, and salmon onigiri. The eatery is cozy, too, with exposed brick walls and woven cane chairs with woven backs.