Hastily slurping bowls of piping-hot ramen in a narrow Japanese restaurant blasting K-pop a little too loudly isn’t the perfect Saturday night date. OK, the ramen part is right up my alley as I am a sucker for warm, and heavy-handed on the sodium. That aside, this deadline Chris is on is complicating normalcy in the relationship territory. I have barely logged any face time with the ole boy in the last few weeks. A whole weekend day spent together, do those even exist? My memory fails me.
I will take what I can get and if what I am offered is a quick and dirty meal in Hell’s Kitchen at 9pm on a Saturday night, waiter, waiter, table for two, please!
Tabata Noodle on 9th Avenue offers a quick and satisfying meal when in need. Apparently the cuisine isn’t all that authentic, but then neither is a rushed Saturday evening date, so cheers for similarity.
The vegetarian noodle bowl is abundant, plenty of salted stringy noodles, enough hot veggie broth, an ample array of tiny mushrooms, a sizable portion of bok choy, and some lovely bean sprouts work together to fill up the belly. I highly recommend a few shakes of the red pepper flakes for added spicy flavoring.I also recommend waiting for this bowl to cool off, unless you are racing the clock, in which case grin and bear it. Alternate between noodle slurps and bites of the fried baby octopus appetizer. Take note of the slight chewy and subtly sweet flavors, thanks to the breaded batter coating these sea creatures. Snap a few pictures. The octopus are cute, in a dead way.
Walking home alone, through the artificial lights and loud noises of the theater district, on a freezing cold Saturday isn’t ideal. No companion beside me for dessert, either….belly full, spirits running on empty. But I will always take what I can get.