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Eat and Drink

Ichicoro's Tampa-style ramen pops-up in Ramen Lab

New York ramen is getting a sunny Florida makeover.

Ramen Lab by Sun Noodle (70 Kenmare St.) has transformed into a ramen incubator-- hosting up and coming ramen chefs in its twelve-seat space. The goal? Give real time feedback to aspiring ramen stars as they present brand new creations for some of New York's most discerning and adventurous palates.

First up, Ichicoro, an upcoming ramen project based in Tampa, premiering its original Florida-inspired noodle creations during a month-long Pop-up at Ramen Lab.

Ichicoro has created a new type of ramen, inspired by the Latin flavors, local produce and hot temperatures in Tampa. In Japan, ramen is denoted by its regional flavors and Ichicoro chef Noel Cruz believes the U.S. can follow this trend.

At the Ichicoro pop-up, guests are surrounded by the soft sounds of Latin music; it's a nice contrast while eating ramen. Just try slurping along to the maracas.

On the menu: a soupless soba ramen, a thick vegetarian ramen in a tomato-miso broth and a tonkotsu seafood ramen topped with he'd-on shrimp. If you can stomach all three bowls --or you know, share them-- without risking ramen coma, you won't regret trying each distinctly flavorful dish.

The Ichicoro pop-up will open Tuesday, May 12th and run for 3 weeks, 5 p.m. - 10 p.m., first come, first served.

Champon

The Champon ramen ($14) consists of a creamy
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

The Champon ramen ($14) consists of a creamy Tonkotsu seafood broth, topped with chasyu asado and grilled-to-order head-on gulf shrimp. Marinated in citrus and roasted to bring out smokiness, the pork offers a fun contrast to the saline seafood flavors in each bite.

Vegetable

Totally unique to any vegetarian ramen on New
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

Totally unique to any vegetarian ramen on New York's noodle landscape, Ichicoro's vegetable ramen ($12) is made from an astoundingly thick miso, tomato and sake broth, that coats the noodles not unlike an excellent Italian marinara. Grilled seasonal vegetables -- in this case onions and red peppers -- add another depth of flavor and a kick of spice to this savory dish makes each bite almost addicting.

Spicy Abura Soba

Spicy Abura Soba ($13) is a soupless ramen
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

Spicy Abura Soba ($13) is a soupless ramen ideal for the Florida, or let's be real, Manhattan heat. Curly noodles are topped with Florida citrus-flavored pork, grilled house-made bacon and a poached egg. Toss the noodles with the broken yolk for a flavorful coating of smoked salt and a punch of habanero.

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