Eat, at Raku.
Nothing is more comforting than a traditional deep bowl of udon soup, especially on a cold summer night. The perfect place to have one is at Raku.
Raku is a tiny Japanese restaurant located in the East Village specializing in gourmet udon (noodles that are thicker than ramen). It is helmed by Norihiro Ishizuka, the executive Chef of Kura (Raku is an anagram), a hideaway sushi bar, well-known for their Omakase sushi experience (chef’s selection sushi). The entrance is discrete, made of a rustic wooden door and a Noren, a Japanese curtain hung in the doorway, traditionally used to protect a place from bad weather.
They offer a large selection of savory udon bowls (cold and hot), some donburi bowls (egg rice bowls with meat or fish) and valuable appetizers. If you don’t know what to order, go for the Ankake udon ($10), the simple yet very textured bowl of chewy noodles with threads of scrambled egg or the Niku udon ($17), the popular beef short-ribs and honeycomb tripe soup. Also, try the Tatsuya-Age chicken ($7), their marinated fried chicken served very hot is wonderful.