There's only one reason you should go to The Noodle Bar and it's not what you think. The pork belly buns (2 for $10) with hoisin, scallion and pickled cucumber are insanely good. The circular bun is perfectly light and fluffy with a subtle sweetness. The belly is fatty yet tender. And really, who doesn't like pickled cucumber? I could eat five of these little darlings.
And If I have had, I would have left happier. Instead, I got sucked into the promise of David Chang's noodles. The namesake ramen soup ($15) has more pork belly, a poached oozy egg, shredded pork shoulder, nori, cabbage, fish cake and scallion. The broth is ok. It's dark, deep and once you puncture the egg, it's very cloudy. The ingredients are fine too. The noodles on the other hand are not. Unlike the light and fluffy buns, the ramen are chewy and too dense. They are like squiggly strings of lead.
Now, I know I'm no expert on ramen. I know that these wheat noodles are supposed to have some chew but there was nothing pleasing about this soup.
I can't finish it.
You're going to bash me for saying this but the instant ones for .99 cents are more high-spirited.
Ninety dollars (including tax and tip) for two beers, two buns, two noodle dishes and an order of chicken wings.
Guess bourgeois street food isn't my thing.