The mercury is dropping steadily, and the best way I know to address that and this head cold I can’t seem to shake is to eat my new favorite Southern food:
Southern Indian, that is: utthappam, a rice-lentil pancake that tastes like neither rice nor lentils but like the savory Subcontinent ideal comfort food. There’s an appetizing tanginess to it, as with other dosas, that makes it seem possible to eat a pile of these (but I think a large one usually suffices for a single person). The tomato, onion, and chile combination is as good as it looks.
Who needs chicken noodle soup when there’s ramen to be had? With fatty slices of roast pork, no less. This is the miso ramen at Minca. Ryan insisted I try their noodles after he went to Setagaya on my suggestion. Look, I’m no authority on ramen (I grew up on Maruchan, and I think my father still buys crates of that shit from Sam’s Club), but I have to say, though this was pretty unusual broth (substantial, almost thick for a non-viscous liquid, with heavy flavor — and the overall heaviness, no doubt — imparted by doses of peanut butter and sesame paste. It was a little like drinking warm, salty, watered-down tahini. But not in a bad way.), there was still something missing, something that Setagaya’s shio ramen‘s got.
If I had to plot the flavor trajectory of each, Minca’s miso ramen would look like this:
And Setagaya’s shio ramen would look like this:
Or, as my mom would say, “This one is more flavory.” Minca’s isn’t bad, really, it’s just not as good. If I return, I’ll have to try the shoyu version. Still, though, Setagaya’s noodles have that lovely, toothsome springiness. Minca’s are just, well, wet noodles.
[Thanks for the graphs, Connie.]