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Yuji: “I’m the only one doing regional and seasonal mazemen ramen with local ingredients in the entire U.S. And I don’t have a restaurant, so people have to come here for my food. That makes me very standout.”
Yebisu: “It’s a unique type of ramen; there’s nothing like this in NY yet. And ours is very traditional Japanese; Yuji’s is more Italian/Japanese…like fusion.”
The Winner: Yuji Ramen
Both noodle-centric stands specialize in brothless ramen, although Yebisu concentrates on the oil-based style known as abura, and Yuji favors mazemen (mixed) ramen, a current craze in Tokyo. It’s hard to find fault with the expert simplicity of Yebisu’s offerings (especially the interplay between the bright scallions and char-grilled edges of moist, right red pork), but Yuji’s cross-cultural bowls of deeply flavored, nuanced noodles are pure revelation.