I took this photo of some ramen here yesterday and then I ate it.
See those pork ribs in the back? Yep, ate ‘em. Those eggs? Yep, ate that. See that green in there? Those are kale chips instead of nori, because ain’t that smart? Yeah. Delicious.
What’s not pictured is me stuffing my face with the contents of this bowl without looking up or putting my chopsticks down even once, only pausing to grunt happily to the chefs when they asked me how it was.
It’s comfort food, but I did not grow up on it. I didn’t even eat Top Ramen in college. Thought it was gross. I’m guessing my bond with this dish formed when I lived down the street from Momofuku and was singularly unhappy with living in New York. I used to play hooky from work sometimes just so I could go there for lunch, when there wasn’t a wait. I felt bad about not showing up to the office, but all that guilt went away after they put a bowl in front of me.
Eating a bowl of this stuff is a visceral experience. It’s almost better to eat it alone because I don’t have to worry about ignoring about the person I’m eating with. I put my head down and I try to shovel as much noodle and broth and egg and corn (yeah, their version has corn, and it’s killer) and pork into my tiny Jew mouth as I can. All systems go. I tune out everything else around me. A normal meal is constantly interrupted by picking up my phone every 5 seconds to see if I got a new email. This is a zen meal.
Let’s all eat more ramen.