New York City’s Latest Restaurant Trend – Spicy Ramen

So how does a new restaurant jumping into the massive New York City restaurant scene stand out? Try to come up with something new or never before tried? Maybe take a recently successful new venture and just open a second location?

Well chef Takatoshi Nagara of the already booming Lower East Side’s Mr Taka restaurant has decided to jump in using none of the above. Sort of. What he is doing is taking a page out of the big brick and mortar playbook and taking a proven concept and niching down. Specialization is the path he has chosen for his newest New York City restaurant venture.

With the recent restaurant craze and trend in NYC for ramen noodle menus, Nagara has decided to run with it and open Karakatta, a ramen noodle restaurant built around a concept focusing on specifically spicy ramen. Opening in a quaint and cozy location south of Washington Square Park on Thompson Street a passer by will already notice a full house in the typical NYC small location, people gathered around the bar sitting at low seating tables warming themselves up with one of chef Nagara’s spicy ramen creations on a cold winter night.

The current winter menu certainly aims to please the palate with body warming ingredients offering 4 different options for the ramen bowls including butter-miso, ginger stamina, shoyu and spicy veggie curry.

The ginger stamina is infused with an overdose of ginger that would fight off any winter ailment you may be feeling. All of the spicy variations can be prepared at your preference of spiciness on a low level of one to the highest level of three. Chopped chili’s and chili infused oils are added to the bowls to determine the level of heat.

In addition to the ramen bowls the menu offers a selection appetizers, soups such as miso, rice bowls and chef specials. Some sides you can expect to experience are Japanese pickles, sprouts, leeks, mushrooms and many more fresh asian vegetables.

The size of the crowds, even during late night hours is an indication that chef Nagara may have another hit with Karakatta and that “niching down” may just be the future of New York City restaurant trends. Can any of us guess what’s next?

Fans Of Spicy Ramen Will Love The New Karakatta Restaurant In New York City

Ramen noodle dishes can be quite flavorful and fun to eat. In New York City, there are lots of ramen restaurants, and according to a recent Grub Street article, the city’s first spicy ramen-only eatery is now open for business.

Located at 230 Thompson Street near Washington Square Park, the all-new Karakatta is a small and charming restaurant that is operated by Takayuki Watanabe and Takatoshi Nagara. Mr. Nagara is the chef and Mr. Watanabe is the owner of the fittingly named Mr. Taka ramen restaurant on the Lower East Side.

Karakatta offers four basic types of ramen dishes. These include shoyu, classic-style butter-miso, spicy vegetable curry, and a ginger-infused option. Some dishes come with a choice of chicken or pork belly, and spice-levels in all of the dishes can be adjusted.

Teriyaki chicken or pork belly dinners that come with miso soup and different-colored Japanese pickles are available at Karakatta, as are appetizers such as Japanese-style fried chicken.

The different ramen bowls at Karakatta are loaded with healthy and delicious ingredients including scallions, zucchini, ground pork, bean sprouts, cabbage, and my favorite, leeks.

Karakatta sounds like a nice place to visit for a ramen meal. Being a fan of ramen, I would particularly like to try their spicy veggie curry.

Until I can get to Karakatta to try their food, I can still cook and eat the little packages of ramen noodle soup that I purchase for approximately $0.39 each. Even though they’re high in sodium, these noodles, when drained, can be a good side dish. It would be great if they made the noodles microwavable, however.

To me, the opening of Karakatta represents the sheer size of New York City and the incredible amount of diversity that is displayed in its population. A spicy ramen-themed restaurant is certainly a niche business, and according to the Grub Street article, crowds of hungry diners have been enjoying the delightful fare that this new restaurant has to offer.