2) Functioning public transit.
3) A new ramen joint.
Best out of three with Santouka Ramen, a new noodle bunker from a Japanese ramen legend that opens a week from today in Harvard Square.
“Big in Japan” is not an inaccurate statement here. This started as a nine-seat family restaurant in ’88, and now they’re in 10 countries and command multi-hour waits. The takeaway: get there early.
You may mistake it for an unusually well-kept warehouse—bare concrete floors, gray tile walls and exposed pipes aplenty. But then you’ll notice the chandeliers made out of desk lamps and blown-up photos of a Japanese shrine (the slideshow cometh). Ambient slurping might be a giveaway, too.
Speaking of: they specialize in a 20-hour tonkotsu base. And if you peek through a narrow window along the left wall, you can watch that broth simmer in enormous pots. You don’t have to stay for the ending.
Just sit down with a piping-hot bowl of the signature tonkotsu shio with pork and a pickled plum and meditate on the meaning of umami (here’s the menu). Or the spicy tonkotsu kara miso, if that’s your thing.
Point is: warm food.