Worth The Wait: Totto Ramen

Frankly, I've been avoiding Totto Ramen since the place opened. The buzz was more than annoying. I'd heard about the lengthy wait for a table or spot at the bar. I figured I could get great freshly-made noodle soup in Chinatown for half the price. And for whatever reason, I thought it was closer to the annoying Sixth and Seventh Avenue parts of midtown.

On an early dinner whim, I finally went. And wow, Totto Ramen is totally worth it. Number one: If you're lucky enough to sit at the bar, you get the typical ramen shop show, highlights of which include giant bubbling vats of broth and a blowtorch. Number two: The soup is really, really fantastic, and stars its chicken-based broth, which is incredibly rich and wonderfully schmaltzy.

I was starving, so I chose the Totto Miso Ramen, figuring I'd get a little extra protein (that plop in the middle of the bowl is the miso, BTW...). With three slices of torched roasted pork, half a boiled egg, and lots of veggies--and noodles, of course--this, I think, was the most filling bowl of ramen I'd ever consumed. And by far the tastiest.

So, I must admit...the buzz was right on this one. I'm willing to go back and wait in line to try one of the other varieties, because they looked really, really good.

Totto Ramen, 366 W. 52nd Street, just east of Ninth.

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