Coming back from a weekend of fun and excess with friends in Hudson, our plan was to wind down with some healthy sushi from Tomoe. The restaurant was dark with a sign on the window stating they were closed a few extra days, so we continued the decadence. Karakatta had caught our eye with its simple “ramen” neon sign in the window, and its sister location has a reputation for tasty and spicy bowls.

It was early, so we were able to snag a seat at the counter and watch the kitchen action. The way these guys have mastered the blowtorch – one in each hand – is mesmerizing and terrifying. A couple of the guys seemed to be newbies-in-training, so our meal might have been a little different than the norm. Even so, we were pleased. The Hijiki and Lotus Root Salad had an intriguing texture and taste, particularly with the sesame seed garnish.

Although the server pointed out the newly-added Tonkotsu Ramen, Derek and I both chose the signature Spicy Ginger Stamina in a two-pepper level (referring to their heat scale, which is regulated by chili oil and chili peppers) for our inaugural bowl. Packed with noodles, a perfectly-cooked egg, pork belly seared with the aforementioned two-handed torching method, ground pork, cabbage, and more, mine was a bit more than I could finish, but it was tough to put down my chopsticks.

Tonkotsu is next on my list to try.