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I've been working (and photographing) my way through the city's ramen, now that it is the hippest thing to eat in the city and will be for at least another month. The other night I went to eat and photograph Yusho's Logan Poser Ramen, a dish whose name has only become more apropos with time. I had it once, long ago, but apparently merely ate it, didn't photograph it, so I didn't remember exactly what it looked like (here's a pic). But I knew one thing for certain this time around: it was different. Which made sense, because the menu quietly referred to it as "Logan Poser Ramen 2."
As it happened the seat I took at the bar was right in front of Harold Jurado, the former chef of Chizakaya, one of the first restaurants to try to do the hipster-izakaya sort of thing that Yusho has been notably successful at. Jurado took over running the original Yusho's kitchen in March, and it would make sense that he wanted to put his own stamp on the ramen at some point, since ramen and other Asian soups had been the center of the lunch menu at Chizakaya (which was, incidentally, probably the first place I ever had serious, restaurant-made ramen, having never been a fan of the supermarket variety, which always tasted like licking a seawall to me). So I asked him if it was called Logan Poser Ramen number two because he had changed it around.
"It is," he said. "With fall and winter coming up, I wanted to change the broth around a little, make it richer for the season." It's also spicier—it's topped with a firehouse red sesame oil—but even so, you can taste the fullness of a serious, meaty broth under the heat.
He also changed the accoutrements that went with the ramen—like a Bloody Mary, it always had a bunch of things on a stick to gnaw on. Now it's a square and a circle, which look like a couple of children's building blocks crusted with panko crumbs and skewered: the square is a little block of pork, and the circle is a fish ball made of tuna and pork, which is fantastic—one of the most flavorful bits of sausage I've had in a long time. It deserves to be busted out of a supporting role in the ramen and made the star of its own dish.
There are some other fall-type vegetables in there, including some house-made Asian pickles and some slices of purple beet. As far as ramen goes, I'm a permissive traditionalist, I'm all for doing it the old time-honored way, unless you have a better idea. There are some wack-sounding things out there (like the Italian beef ramen at Ani, which is located in the old Chizakaya space), but with Logan Poser Ramen, Yusho aimed for the right balance between traditional ramen and their own twists. With version 2.0, they've finally gotten there.