Monday, September 1

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Strawberry Panic Container Shaped Foods »

Restaurant Tue Apr 15 2008

Ramen, Oh, Ramen...

Just the other day the top quarter of my mouth was utterly violated by an evil minion. Actually, my dentist is rather cute and very capable, but dental work is never a positive experience, especially when the first of four sessions in a month’s time hurt as bad as that one did.

The whole hour and a half that my mouth was pried open and I watched the descent of various tiny metal torture devices into my “open wide” mouth, I distracted myself with the view from the window. Across the street was Tam Popo Japanese Restaurant. I soothed myself with fantasies that some wildly talented quirky Japanese woman was spinning out the bowls of noodles to inspire a great film.

After all was done, I went running across the street with one very non-responsive novacaine heavy lip to get my bowl of ramen. Warm and steamy comfort for my shockingly pained mouth.

I was greeted by a very sweet woman who continued to be the picture of gracious service throughout my solo lunch. I got Goma Ae to start, which is a perennial favorite of mine. I was delighted to see that tenderly sweet spinach dish was made with a black sesame sauce. I love the toastier flavor of black sesame seeds. However, I have to admit that I was concerned for the fate of my soup when I received the little banchan dishes, these are the side dishes more commonly served with Korean meals. Would the broth be the delicate dashi base I was dreaming of?

Sadly, it wasn’t. It was a nice steamy bowl of well cooked ramen noodles, with a pedestrian fish cake and a bit too much white pepper than I care for, but it was passable and somewhat satisfying. It wasn’t transcendental, but it was good.

It is yet another pleasant disappointment in my search for good authentic Japanese comfort food. But don’t let the lack of authenticity deter you, the soup was very warming and satisfying, it just wasn’t the Tampopo of my dreams.


Naz / April 15, 2008 1:47 PM

Interesting and good to know Rachel. I'm quite fond of the various ramen found at Mitsuwa, in the food court. Downtown, surprisingly perhaps or not, Takashi Yagihash's Noodles stand, in the Macy's food court is pretty tasty.

More on that and Mitsuwa as well as others here.

rachel / April 15, 2008 3:45 PM

Yes! Mitsuwa! and the Okanomiyaki!!!
I will definitely try out the noodle stand at Macy's, thanks for the tip.
Also FYI: Hachi Kitchen Nabe Yake Udon is a great bowl

Add a Comment

Please enter the letter k in the field below:

Live Comment Preview

Notes & Tags

Items marked with a * are required fields. Please respect each other. We reserve the right to delete any comments borne out of douchebaggery or that deal in asshattery.

Permitted tags and how to use them:

To link: <a href="">Link text</a>
To italicize: <em>Your text</em>
To bold: <strong>Your text</strong>

Event Mon Jul 21 2014

A Garden Party at Rick Bayless' House

By Judy Wu

I was using Rick Bayless' restroom, I mused, staring up at the ceiling window that was projecting a heavenly beacon of light upon my less-than-angelic duties. I could barely distinguish Rick's faint murmurs through the orange walls, something about how...
Read this feature »



Sun Sep 7 2014
Dill Pickle Block Party @ Comfort Station

Drive-Thru on Flickr

Join the Drive-Thru Flickr Pool.

About Drive-Thru

Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Robyn Nisi,
Drive-Thru staff inbox:



 Subscribe in a reader.

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15