I'm reluctant to do anything to add to the throngs of people already waiting outside Ramen Tatsu-Ya, but I'm so dang excited about this place that I just have to blog about it. Finally, excellent ramen in Austin!
We wanted to try a little of everything during our first visit, so ordered quite a few dishes. Here's a little tour of what we tasted:
The #1 Tonkatsu Original ($8.50), a masterpiece that made me go all wide-eyed and swoony. Seriously, it's been a while since a dish stopped me in my tracks the way this ramen did; the broth is so amazingly smooth that I actually thought there might be cream in it. So much so that I actually asked our server whether it did - nope, it's just that 60 hours of marrow leaching out into the broth that gives it that silky texture. Ohhh, baby. Like buttah.
The #3 Miso-Not ($9) - a lovely, flavorful bowl that standing alone would probably have been delightful, but to my palate, this was the ugly stepchild compared to the Tonkatsu Original.
Katsu Slider - nicely crispy, but ehhhh...I'll probably skip this next time.
Almond tofu with ginger lemongrass syrup - a very refreshing, light bite of sweetness that nicely capped off our meal.
• Unless you get there just as they open or later in the evening (9ish), you'll have to wait. They're very efficient about moving people through (and they've adopted the Hopdoddy system where you have seating ready for you as soon as you finish ordering), but I'd budget 45 mn to an hour in line if you're going during normal dinner hours (they are not open for lunch).
• They will not allow you to take the ramen to go. Something about the noodles getting mushy and the broth, um, congealing. Did I mention how smooth it is?
• This is not a place to show up with a large group, or a place where you'd feel comfortable sitting and talking after your meal, since there will be a long line of hungry people waiting for your seat.
• And a tip from my friend Kristin over at Mad Betty - be sure to check out the bathrooms! (Photos at Kristin's blog, here).
I can't wait to go back - especially now that we're having weather that passes for chilly! See you there.