December 7, 2022


Life Must Change

Simply Manhattan Seashore’s native noodle joint

The constructing on the nook of Marine and Highland is architecturally unusual, however then once more something on this nook must be. It’s constructed on a really small lot on a particularly steep hill. The architect determined to deal with this by designing a modest eating room and outside patio, plus three tiny rooms stacked vertically in a nook to eke out some more room and an ocean view.

By some quirk of destiny, the eating places which have occupied this area have been bizarrely numerous. They’ve included a sushi bar run by a mystic who claimed to get recipes from desires, up to date Vietnamese, and a French Breton place that had good meals however erratic administration. A few of these may need been a hit in a distinct location, however all needed to face one disadvantage right here – only some parking areas in an space by the seaside with many residences

The apparent factor to do in such a state of affairs is to serve one thing that may be engaging to all these native folks as on a regular basis meals, which isn’t essentially how you’ll categorize rustic Breton stews or mystic sushi.

American café meals has been tried sometimes, however ineptly, and the present tenant has a distinct concept: the consolation meals of the fashionable technology, ramen and sushi. Marine Ramen opened in August of final 12 months and hit some turbulence alongside the way in which, closing immediately simply earlier than Christmas as a result of workers shortages. After a two-month hiatus they reopened, and are as soon as once more serving a brief and easy menu of Japanese favorites.

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The area is shiny and open, with home windows wherever there may be a lot as a sliver of a view, Ror my cash the most effective area is the little outdoors patio with furnishings in cheerful pastels. A server brings over an iPad from which you make your choice, which speeds the method whereas lowering the workers necessities. In case you have any questions concerning the meals, a disembodied voice will reply from the iPad. Since we weren’t knowledgeable the iPad had a microphone and speaker, we jumped in shock the primary time it talked to us. The particular person on the opposite finish was joyful to reply questions, and although we ordered one thing by mistake, we found out methods to change it pretty rapidly.

The starters are all the standard favorites competently made. The shrimp and veggie tempura combo arrived sizzling and crisp, and we devoured it as quickly because it cooled sufficient to eat. It was small, simply two shrimp, two items of pumpkin, and a diminutive veggie eggroll, however for 5 bucks that’s not dangerous.  The hen karaage was a lot bigger for less than three {dollars} extra and was superb. They use darkish meat, which is richer in taste, the way in which that Japanese choose their karaage, and the meat was fairly juicy contained in the batter casing.

The ten-piece nigiri sushi platter from Marine Ramen. Picture by Richard Foss

I wasn’t as a lot of a fan of the eel hand roll that had extra rice than eel and avocado, however the 10-piece nigiri sushi platter was fairly good as an appetizer for 2, or essential course for one. The portion of fish in each bit was enough, and thought had been given to the presentation, which is stunning at a worth level underneath 20 bucks.

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We additionally tried the ramen, in fact – tonkotsu pork with the broth on the aspect and a seafood ramen. Tonkotsu ramen has change into a fad merchandise of late, with some locations pleased with a broth that’s simmered in a single day so it has a cool depth. In the event you’re in search of that concentrated blast of umami that compares to different broths as espresso does to espresso, this isn’t the place to go. It’s a full-flavored broth that has creaminess and leaves room for different flavors. Since I had it on the aspect I might dip the greens, noodles, and pork into the broth and luxuriate in every individually. The weak spot was the pork, which was served in a single giant piece and was not tender sufficient to divide utilizing the chopsticks,and spoon that have been all we had. Utilizing a extra tender minimize of pork could be the most effective wager, or slicing this smaller in order that it’s simpler to eat.

A bowl of Marine Ramen’s seafood ramen in salmon broth. It contains scallops, shrimp, mussels, and calamari with inexperienced onions, salmon caviar, and minty shiso leaf. Images by Richard Foss.

The seafood ramen was in a salmon broth, which I discovered extra flavorful, with an agreeable slight oiliness. There was a superb portion of shellfish and shrimp, together with child octopus that had been marinated in soy sauce for further taste. A little bit of ikura, salmon roe, added an agreeable salty burst once you hit a bit, and it was usually a well-balanced meal.

Wine, beer, flavored or common sake, and soju are all supplied, as are a number of, easy combined drinks. I attempted a mixture of low-alcohol rice wine with lime that had a tangy taste much like a daiquiri. This arrived with a bit of minty shiso leaf liberally encrusted with Japanese chili powder subsequent to the glass, so I attempted a chew of it. Don’t do this until you actually get pleasure from spicy flavors with even spicier flavors on high of it. I used to be knowledgeable later that this was a garnish and never supposed to be eaten, and I recommend they go away it off so different folks don’t share my expertise.

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Marine Ramen presents easy, hearty meals with few fancy frills, however which may be precisely what this space wants. Somebody on their strategy to or from the seaside can cease for a meal or a snack, and I observed a reasonably good takeout enterprise. Given the loopy ups and downs on this trade, it’s inconceivable to forecast anybody’s degree of success, however this matches the neighborhood higher than anything that has been tried right here.

Marine Ramen is at 2201 Highland in Manhattan Seashore. Open midday – 10 p.m. day by day, parking in constructing and underneath restaurant, wheelchair entry good to most of area. (310) 425-9727. Order at ER