It doesn’t matter if you spill as you drag the tsukemen’s noodles through their bowl of dipping broth on your way to slurping them. A much-stained menu suggests that many others have. The tsukemen is the best of the ramens. Its noodles are fat and chewy; its broth, simmered 36 hours, is creamy and concentrated (it’s made for dipping, not slurping). Mellow sweetness comes from caramelized shallots and onions, and the soy-marinated egg yolk is perfectly set. None of the others are as memorable, despite pert veggies. Their broths are thinner, flatter, more straightforward. Beyond the slam-dunk tsukemen, it’s best to approach Wabi House as a place for small bites to accompany drinks. There’s warmth in a decor of wood, weathered brick, and low-hanging lightbulbs, and when the space fills, there’s ambience. If you studded cement with starchy corn kernels, you might end up with something like the corn fritters (no amount of microgreenery lightens them). Crispy kale was flash-fried to supernatural evanescence; its accompanying octopus was rubbery. But Karaage (fried chicken) was exceptionally flavorful, with spicy aioli and fresh, togarashi spice-dusted, lime-doused watermelon. And if you love nutty black sesame, the crème brulée—twilight-colored under its crackling top—is another unquestionable treasure.
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