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This all could be yours…
As the price of ramen has spiraled due to its hipness, it’s hard to find a cheap bowl anymore, and what was once the least expensive foodstuff, beloved of college students, has become almost a special occasion dish. But there are a few holdouts…return with us now to the old days of ramen, pricewise.
Food Gallery 32 in a new and comparatively wonderful Korean food court, located on 32nd Street right in the middle of Koreatown. The tri-level space has lots of pleasant seating, some of it with a view. You order at any of the seven counters, each serving a different specialty, then receive your food via one of those beeper devices.
One place, Noodle 32, specializes in ramen with a Korean twist. Which means lots of kimchee and rich seafood broths, to be sure, but also such things as what looked like American cheese, floating in the soup. (I didn’t try that one; I’m sorry!)
Big steaming bowls of ramen, plus a side dish of kimchee, start as low as $5.49, but we totally splurged and got a $5.99 bowl called dduk ramed (#18). The broth was spectacular, pink and spicy, and there were plenty of noodles and rice cakes gyrating in the fluid. Protein was furnished courtesy of a poached egg, and there were all sorts of vegetables in there, too.
Food Gallery 32
11 West 32nd Street
Order your ramen at the counter.