Ramen at Rai Rai Ken

Ever since I picked up a copy of the first issue of Lucky Peach magazine, which was completely devoted to ramen on every page, I’ve been craving a bowl. I finally got my fix at Rai Rai Ken, an excellent little ramen shop in the East Village.

We really lucked out, because normally it would be a long wait to get four seats together in such a tiny little place. But we put our name on the list — the list is on the wall to the right when you walk in the door; don’t miss it! — and walked down the street to a little Italian cafe, where we ordered a bottle of wine and sat at one of the sidewalk tables.

We got back to the restaurant just in time to see the three seats in the window open up. Les dorkages grandes:

Greg picked up a single stool just nearby:

We ordered gyoza dumplings to start:

Boy were the great. Light dough, but meaty filling. Loved them!

Then we three girls ordered three different ramens: shio, shoyu and hiyashi chu-ka. I’ll let the menu explain:

Shio ramen:

Shoyu ramen:

And hiyashi chu-ka:

Everything was completely delishy, and really hit the spot. Craving crisis averted.

The 411 on Rai Rai Ken: A tiny East Village ramen shop with excellent bowls of soup and great dumplings, too. Go with a small group and put your name on the list to slurp away the night. 214 E. 10th St., Manhattan 212-477-7030.

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