The Early Word: Hung Ry
Lauren Shockey Hung Ry's lobster salad.
We're not big on restaurants with jokey names (Dirty Bird To-Go or Rabbit in the Moon, yeah, no thanks), but given all the buzz surrounding the recently opened noodle shop Hung Ry, we had to stop by for a quick weekday lunch.
We decided to forgo the $15 lunch special because we didn't want a green salad or dessert with our noodle dishes, though we remarked that this is still a pretty good deal, since most of the noodle soups run $12 to $19.50 (though the lunch special only includes the pork belly, black feather chicken, or squash noodle soups). The restaurant specializes in la mian-style hand-pulled noodles, offering both a thick version and a thinner one in a variety of modern noodle soups. The Chinatown hole-in-the-wall noodle soup joint this is not. But then again, the prices would have told you that.
We started off with the lobster salad (pictured above), which consisted of three slices of cold lobster meat, perfectly cooked and centered around black bean shoots and thinly sliced radish and cucumber slices. The salad was cool and crisp, with just a touch of heat from mustard oil. The only downside was that we were left wanting more of it to eat.
Lauren Shockey Sardines with Meyer lemon and purple potato.
The other starter was the sweet Maine shrimp with Meyer lemon, purple potato sticks, and shaved celery -- except they were out of shrimp and substituted sardines instead. We found the purple potato lacking a little flavor, but the sardines, three to an order, were fresh and fat, just the way we like them.
The appetizers, which range in price from $5.50 to $9.50, exhibit a refined, nuanced quality while the soups are more rustic and hearty.
Lauren Shockey Veal cheek noodle soup.
The noodles are available in thin and thick versions; we tried both and preferred the thick, which had a bit more bite. We had them in the veal cheek soup, chock full of marrow, liver, Japanese sweet potato, and quince. Unctuous, with little globules of marrow bobbing in the broth, this is a soup for the offal-lover who isn't ready to face tripe or intestines.
Lauren Shockey Pork belly noodle soup. Lauren Shockey Noodles, up close.
We also got the pork belly soup, which came with sliced tongue, brussels sprouts, and roasted radishes. The broth was equally rich, but far smokier from the pork belly, which melted into the broth.
Both portions were huge, and by the time we were sated we still had half a bowl left each. But the appetizers are really worthwhile, so we wouldn't recommend going soup-only either. We'd definitely come back and try some of the other inventive dishes on the menu (monkfish liver with logan berries and hen-of-the-woods mushroom sounds like the lovechild cuisine of David Chang and René Redzepi, doesn't it?). One thing's for sure, at this new Noho noodle joint you won't leave hungry, but you'll be "hung ry" for more.
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