During our super busy season my job overwhelms my waking and sleeping life (oh the stress dreams) and makes it so that most all evenings are spent at home, alone, lying down with zombie eyes and preserving energy for the next day. I don't really mind how crazy it can be because I do enjoy some generous vacation days in exchange for my hard work, but work/life balance during these times is a pretty much foreign concept. So lying down and staying in was pretty much what I planned on doing a Friday a few weeks back when I received a text from L. suggesting I come up to Brooklyn for her friend's annual big pig party the next evening. I think I surprised both of us by taking her up on that suggestion. I finished work later than usual and then packed myself up and hit the road, making pretty good time on the whole, though getting off the NJ Thruway and towards the Goethals and Verrazano bridges was especially stupid. Once I arrived I got loopy from the socialization of L. and Fat T. It had probably been far too many days since I had had any lengthy conversation with anyone about anything other than work. Though, of course, I also talked about work because when it's the only thing you really have going on, then it's really the only thing to talk about. In any case, after some much needed laughter and fellowship, L. and I went out into the world to have dinner while Fat T. stayed home because he is a party pooper and hates dinner. L. and I, on the other hand, love parties and dinner. So out to Dassara we went. It was a little on the late side, so we were pretty much the only folks eating, though there were a few people sitting at the bar. The lighting in the main dining room was challenging in a similar neon-like way to Morimoto, though I feel like I did a slightly better job dealing with it in this instance. We started by splitting the fried chicken buns, which I found to my liking. The soft and pliant buns made a nice contrast to the crispy chicken bit and slight saltiness of the pickle.
ike Ipuddo but its variations on the traditional ramen set up were definitely interesting. I ultimately found myself most drawn to the lamb ramen with braised lamb belly, market greens and a soft-poached egg. The thing I usually like about ramen is that the noodles have a little more 'toothiness' to them...Japanese al dente if you will. While I enjoyed the broth of the dish well enough, I will say that I found the noodles themselves not to have that especially good resiliency. They were a wee bit too soft and mushy for my taste. I feel like L. had a similar feeling about her noodles as well. So the conclusion I had was that the buns were good, the broth was good, but the noodles weren't very exciting.