Ramen-San | River North | Japanese | Restaurant
Lettuce Entertain You's ramen spot.

Our Review

Lettuce Entertain You's ramen spot offers several varieties of the noodle soup built upon pork-based tonkotsu broth or soy-spiked chicken broth (there's also a shiitake-based broth for the vegetarians) and garnished with various proteins, including the familiar chashu, in this case slabs of roasted pork belly, and hanjuku tamago, the soft-boiled eggs here served chilled in the soup. Other, more unorthodox additions include kimchi and fried chicken in the tonkotsu broth and, in a black-garlic-dosed chicken broth, several slabs of smoked brisket from LEYE's Bub City. The inherent intensity of those ingredients does nothing to enhance what turns out to be one of the menu's weakest bowls: egg, noodles, and brisket bobbing listlessly in a watery, tasteless broth that seemed to have arrived unseasoned—a blandness emblematic of a general timidity that inhabits these bowls. The basic shoyu ramen is better, a thin but discernibly chickeny soy-finished broth that's hard to complain about, perhaps because it's too difficult to remember. The tonkotsu broth is a bit lip-sticky with collagen, but only to the degree that leaves one wanting more. The rest of the menu includes a half-dozen appetizers, a trio of meat-stuffed steamed buns, chicken wings, and salads, not to mention cocktails by Paul McGee and an impressive collection of Japanese whiskeys. Read the full review >>

Mike Sula

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Price: $$

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