in itaewon: 서울 용산구 이태원로 206
what was consumed: japanese style ramen (spicy or miso). with extra chashu. and gyoza.
it's not just the US that has had an obsession with japanese ramen. it's like that here in seoul as well. i've had ramen at a couple of different places, but friends and i revisit japanese ramen in itaewon most frequently. yes, part of it is the convenience of its location. that said, we return time and time again because it's delicious.
friends first found out about a delicious ramen place near hongik university. it was hard to find as it is in the middle of a block, totally off the regular path. on top of that, the storefront lists the restaurant's name only in japanese. and when you go in, the place seats, like, 12 people (6 at the bar and 3 2-tops. or something like that). we also loved that we could see the food being prepared - the ramen being boiled, the veggies being added, the chashu being flambéed, the bowls of deliciousness being assembled. the broth was so rich and delicious, with just the right amount of saltiness. and the chashu! be sure to order extra - you'll be glad that you did. the pork is deliciously cooked. and then they take a mini blow torch and toast the chashu pieces before they place it atop chewy ramen noodles.
and the gyoza! be sure to put in an order to share. steamed and then toasted on one side, served with some soy sauce for dipping.
we later discovered that they have a branch in itaewon. YES. similarly, it has fewer than 20 seats, but the turnover is pretty quick. sit, order, eat, be full, leave. repeat. frequently. must. nom nom nom ...
PS double bonus is that they are open 24 hours!!