High Five Ramen | West Loop/Fulton Market | Japanese, Noodles | Restaurant
Brendan Sodikoff's noodle concept, in the basement of the Green Street Smoked Meats building.

Our Review

Approached through an unassuming door on the way in to Green Street Smoked Meats, Brendan Sodikoff's 16-seat ramen spot sets a new standard for tonkotsu in the city. The signature High Five Ramen is thick, creamy, and colored like a dark roux or hot chocolate, and saturated with sticky collagen. As much as I like that bowl, I have to give higher praise to the much lighter shoyu ramen, which is built on a base of chicken broth cooked low and slow, then combined with a complex dashi that features dried sardines, kelp, and squid that bathe in cold water overnight before a short one-hour cook. After that, two kinds of bushi—smoked, dried, and shaved flakes of bonito and mackerel loin—are added to the broth before straining. The tare, or seasoning, for these bowls includes three types of soy sauce infused with charred dried squid and more bonito flakes. As for drinks—like the ramen, there are a just a few choices: a pair of sweet, slushy cocktails, two canned sakes, a "Canzilla" of Asahi Super Dry lager, and a $3 shot of Old Grand-Dad. It's all part of the stripped-down focus that makes High Five Ramen the most convincing approximation of an actual ramen-ya the city has seen to date. Read the full review >>

Mike Sula

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