Being midtown lunch-hour, it was bustling when we got in around 1pm. We managed to grab some seats in the upstairs seating area. There was an outdoor patio with a lovely little garden, but too bad there were only two tables for two.
I liked the ambiance in this little joint. The upstairs area is not as small as I imagined, and neither is the downstairs seating area, possibly because it is well lit and painted in a cute white pattern, making it seem taller and more spacious than it appears.
I also liked their Japanese-style lamp shades that reminded you that this is, after all, a Japanese noodle joint.
So basically you line up, pick out any tempuras you want in a dish, then order your main dish, and by the end of the line you can pick up your orders. Everything is open kitchen, so you can see the thick noodles being scooped out in bowls and poured into boiling broth. You can also appreciate the efficiency of Japanese production lines, because everyone was working so quickly that orders are clocked in around plus/minus 3 minutes.
It didn't seem that complicated to run a noodle/rice joint, especially when everything was premade - the noodles, the broth, and the sides like eggs and meat. Maybe I should start one too.
You can also add some condiments like soya sauce, crisp fried tempura bits, and any seasoning you'd like.
We picked up some tempura at the beginning of the line for everyone to share.
I've never heard of this sauce before...
...probably something to do with chili oil because La Yu means spicy fish in Chinese.
I'm not sure what everyone ordered because I wasn't feeling well that day, so didn't feel like eating anything =(
Everyone said the noodle was pretty al dente, and the broth was well seasoned as well. No one was really that hungry, but everyone slurped their noodles in less than half and hour. Possibly the shortest lunch ever.
**** (4/5 - mostly for their ambience)
Kids-friendly (sort of)