umetaro was great, though, and even though I called him while he was driving, he calmed me down and gave me enough information for me to at least get into the right neighborhood and just as I found it he called me as he'd gotten there and could tell me more. Neither of us had been there before, so it was an adventure for both of us.
The menu was like 79 Pho but ramen and with escalation. The Pho menu mostly only adds or subtracts a few things at a time. The ramen menu was steps up with just plain or with meat then with four or five things, half of which I didn't recognize, and then The Works (lots of veggies, it said). Giggles. I got the half a dozen things, I thought, and it was a beautifully crowded bowl.
There were three kinds of ramen, a thick-noodled sea flavored ramen, a thin-noodled with shoyu flavored broth, and a fatty broth with thick noodles. umetaro got the last one, I got the shoyu one, and they were both really good. I also had sheets of nori, big slabs of pork, a softly boiled egg, a pile of bamboo shoots, and thinly sliced green onions. The noodles were chewy, distinct, and very tasty. The broth was good, but just a little too salty for me, but it lent savor to all the things topping the bowl. The boiled egg was exactly how I love soft boiled eggs, with the white good and firm, the outside of the yolk just starting to set, and the inside of the yolk still flowing like a thick yellow cream. Yum. It had been stored cold, and the soup hadn't warmed it all through yet, which made for an interesting temperature and texture difference.
The crisp nori was nice. The pork slabs were rich and delicious, likely shoulder slow roasted until it was tender and flavorful and then sliced thick to go on the noodles. The nori was crisp just enough bitter to cut all the richness.
I also ordered the Japanese cider that comes in one of those reusable glass pop bottles with a glass marble for a seal. It had a little opener built into the top that you took off the bottle and pushed down on the marble with. It gave a little hiss and the marble dropped into the holding pocket at the top of the bottle. The marble made it impossible to drink from the bottle, so I asked for a straw and that worked beautifully. It was tasty and not too sweet. Yay!
I kept the bottle for later peering at. John has one from when he went to Tokyo on business nearly a decade ago, so it was cool to see a modern one, the basic concept was exactly the same, though with his they assumed the vendor would have a peg to open it with for you. No little cool pusher.
It was a huge dinner. I fumbled my math skills and may have cheated umetaro of a few dollars, and am sorry for that; but we had a great time talking during the meal and walking around afterward. We found a really inexpensive ARCO (that only took cash) right on the corner there, and when we both got back to our cars we both stopped for a fill-up before heading our separate ways.
I went back to the hotel room and watched the rest of Sky High. Wow... what a great ending!! The setup was actually quite typical of such movies, but the resulting character motivations, the things driving the "bad" guys were so similar to those driving the "good" guys, that was fascinating. It all boiled down to what they chose to do about their motivations, and how different they were. Wow. I loved the last half a dozen scenes immensely. I am also as intensely glad that I could see them without Jet around because wow it's violent. :-)