As a dish, ramen doesn't rank high on the complexity meter.
But at Totto Ramen, a new 19-seat noodle bar from the folks behind Yakitori Totto and Soba Totto, the dish's rudimentary building blocks--broth and noodles--are prepared with the utmost precision and care.
Each bowl starts with a heady chicken broth, which the restaurant makes by upcycling discarded chicken bones from Yakitori Totto.
During serving, the kitchen leaves nothing to chance. Every 30 minutes, a cook armed with a refractometer--a scientific instrument that measures the concentration of a solution--tests the broth's levels to ensure that it's up to snuff.
Then the broth meets a buoyant nest of noodles (made daily at Soba Totto), ribbons of green onion and sheets of tender pork, which get their burnished color by way of a blowtorch. Order your ramen spicy, and it'll come with a liberal ladle of sinus-clearing chile-garlic sauce.
With ramen this good, it's no surprise that the place has already racked up serious wait times. But noodle lovers, take note: A second branch, called Hide-Chan Ramen, has opened to carry the weight; it features tonkotsu (pork broth) made using the same obsessive methods.
Totto Ramen, 366 W. 52nd St. (between Eighth and Ninth aves.); 212-582-0052 or tottoramen.com