minca & kambi

The name of this post sounds like characters from Japanese anime. I guess that’s not too far off, as they’re the names of two ramen places in the East Village. Minca is a favorite, just off Avenue B. Photographer Jason Wyche and his cool wife, Mika, first brought me there. I feel kind of guilty that I’ve gone back to Minca without them, especially because I know Jason reads my blog every now and then. I get these cravings for Minca sometimes, and I end up there on short notice. (See above photo for reference — one taste of that and you will be back again and again.)

I read in Time Out New York that the Minca team opened up the new restaurant Kambi, on East 14th Street. It’s right across the street from my not-favorite pizza joint, Artichoke. If you’ve ever been to Minca, these two shots of the interior of Kambi might seem a little weird — very modern. I’m not complaining, but it’s not what you might expect. In fact, I think Kambi is pretty stylish. Time Out says that the design team is the same one who designed the super-cool Ippudo.

I suppose the East Village needs new ramen joints about as much as it needs new yogurt shops, but there are just so many great places in the neighborhood! Kambi doesn’t seem to be drawing crowds yet, but I think it will catch on, because the food is really good. The menu is very similar to the one at Minca, not exactly the same, but very close.

The flavors are very similar too. I got the Spicy Miso Ramen, with soy bean paste sauce. It’s pretty much fantastic. I’d rank it up there with Ippudo and Setagaya in a heartbeat.

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