In Tokyo, ramen is a fast food, one that’s meant to be consumed in 20 minutes or so, paired with an almost-slammed beer. You sit, you slurp, then you get on your merry way so the postage stamp-sized dining room can accommodate the next diner. Tori Ramen models itself after this style of ramen house. Order at the bar — there’s no table service here — and pay when you do. Want another drink? You figure it out. Your bowl will then arrive tout de suite and piping hot, made with long-simmered stocks that are in full view from your perch. The stocks are incredibly rich, some almost opaque, but there’s no pig whatsoever served here. It’s a bold move, since many traditional Japanese ramens begin with pork, but Tori is convinced they can rock with no swine. So far, we’re so convinced that we are deepest in love with the vegetarian version, which derives all of its umami from burdock, seaweed, and fermented mushroom.
Readers’ Choice: Ramen Kazama