First stop for ramen in NYC was at Nakamura. Shigetoshi "Jack" Nakamura is a bit of ramen legend. He was considered one of the a ramen God in Japan before launching several successful ramen shops in LA and NYC in partnership with Sun Noodles. He's back with his own place, a tiny little shop near the Williamsburg Bridge on the LES. There's a limited menu, four ramen bowls, and a couple of appetizers. The not-very-traditional-curry-spiced ramen above is one of the specialties. Rich, almost stew-like spicy-chicken broth topped with curried beef and bean sprouts. Awesome on a cold night in the city.
We also tried Nakamura's more traditional torigara, chicken broth with shoyu tare, chashu, menma and spinach. This is the ramen you are looking for. Everything about it was what I think of when I think of ramen. The depth of flavor in the stock is something I just don't get at home, no matter how hard I try. Rich, salty, but not too salty, earthy...it just works. I've been dreaming about Nakamura ever since our visit, I wish I could get something like it around here. If you happen to be in NYC and like ramen, it's a must-visit. But get there early as the 6 or so tables and 6 counter stools will fill up fast. And say hi to Jack as he makes his rounds checking in on every table of slurpers.
Gan Shan Station in Asheville. Tonkotsu all the way; dark, fatty pork stock with a rich, oily texture and enough spice to burn just a bit. Love the black sesame touch, too. This is a cool place I'd spend time at if I lived in the area. Everything on the menu sounded great. If only I had more time, and more space in the belly.