Tonkotsu Triple Garlic Mazemen
A stir-style ramen served with just a bit of light tonkotsu sauce, the primary flavor comes from three forms of garlis—raw, roasted, and pickled—and a big sprinkle of powdered katsuobushi—smoked, dried bonito. The flavors are intense but balanced, but it's the pickled garlic that steals the show. "This is my favorite condiment," says Orkin. Two forms of pork belly top the dish, a crisp strip of bacon, and a chashu-style slice of braised belly.
Spicy Crunchy Rye Noodles
Crispy deep fried rye-based ramen sprinkled with powdered chipotle, katsubushi, and nori. It's a flavor and texture memory I associate with eating dried ramen directly out of the package with the flavor packet sprinkled on top.
Tokyo-style Crispy Pork Meatballs
Pork meatballs made from coarsely ground duroc pig with a good deal of soft-cooked pig skin in the mix. The highly seasoned meatballs are rolled in panko and deep fried, served with a bit of ocean-scented crème fraîche and a good squirt of Bulldog sauce, the Japanese thick worcestershire-style sauce typically served with pork katsu.
Ago Dashi Shoyu Tsukumen
Dashi made with flying fish, it has the slightly oily flavor of mackerel. The noodles are made with toasted rye flour. Springy, chewy, and lightly smoky and spicy in flavor. They're meant to be dipped into the dashi, which has a thin film of garlic oil floating on the surface with cubes of simmered daikon underneath.
Fatty Pork Sushi
"Everyone in New York is doing buns. I call this the anti-bun. Pork sushi, though that's not really a good name." I'd liken it more to pork musubi. Unseasoned white rice topped with a little pile of ridiculously tender and fatty pork, along with chopped pickled plums, a hint of wasabi, and a slow-roasted tomato. I finished it in two bites thinking, "I have no idea what I just ate, but it was delicious."
Salted Lemon Ice Cream
The only dessert of the night, a light ice cream flavored with lemon rind and plenty of salt. It reminded me a lot of the salted plum or citrus candies that the Japanese are fond of, though I personally would have preferred some larger salt crystals instead of a uniform saltiness.