1 The Ramen
Camden toys with tradition and playfulness in two house versions served in hand-painted bowls. One blends two schools of ramen thought, the pork-milky tonkotsu and the soy-sauce-forward shoyu ramen, but still cries out for dimensionality, egg yolk creaminess, and oink factor. But Boxer’s “Really Spicy Miso Ramen” (pictured) already has addictive potential. The broth teems with the warm rush of Calabrian chiles, parmesan cheese, and butter. Both version boast bouncy noodles from LA’s famed Sun Noodle Co.
2 The Room
Think ramen shop meets Lucky Peach magazine. Wu-Tang Clan bumps from the sound system. Fir tables are fixed with low, Playskool-ish stools. The highlight is the graffiti-like wall mural of three Japanese girls, simultaneously cute and devilish, each hovering over a chicken, pig, or tuna leaping from a ramen bowl—a clever nod to Japan’s Neo Pop art movement.
3 The Mochi
The pastel-hued three-bite Japanese ice cream treats, bound in stretchy, chewy, sweet rice flour, are exalted here, with their flavor choices taking up an entire blackboard menu. The sweets are flown in from the holy grail of the mochi cult, Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream and Desserts in Maui. You want the passion fruit: creamy and softly fruity, a Dreamsicle reborn.