Best Japanese Restaurant - 2009
Readers' Choice: Domo
Maybe it's the rock-bottom prices. Maybe it's the authentic fare. Maybe it's that we've got noodle bars on the brain. Maybe it's the freaky little alien-moose thing that stands as the house mascot, because we've always had a weakness for creepy mascots and patron cartoon characters. Maybe (probably) it's all of those things. This year, we kept finding ourselves returning to Oshima Ramen, the only link in this country to a Japanese chain. Everything about this place is awesome and bizarre at the same time — from the giant bowls of fresh-made ramen to the tasty chicken bits and gyoza to the unusual Japanese sodas behind the bar. The walls are sketched with years' worth of graffiti, the history of a thousand love affairs with Oshima Ramen, of which ours is only one.