Cold, rainy days call for Ramen, at least to me they do. But when it’s 80 degrees outside? Not so much. Still, I was anxious to try Tanaka Ramen, a newly opened spot in Town Brookhaven.
Can I tell you a secret about Tanaka? The appetizers are where they shine. Start with the Japanese fried chicken. You can choose between spicy mayo sauce or plain. But there’s really no question – go for the spicy sauce. I love that the large pieces of fried chicken are so juicy inside but still crunchy on the outside. Another delicious starter was the Japanese pork wrap. The name doesn’t make it sound half as delectable as it is. The wrap is a thick wrap much like Naan bread. Oh and that juicy pork was puuurrfect.
If you want to have some of the best Gyoza you’ve ever had in your life, visit Tanaka. The dumplings are made in house each day. So, don’t be surprised if you visit on the weekend and they are sold out. The owner, Tina, told me that they put a limit on how many employees can order each day so they have enough for guests. After tasting them, I can see why.
You’ll find three kinds of ramen at Tanaka: Pork, Chicken and Vegetarian. Choosing two, chicken (you can choose from mild or spicy) and the Tonkatsu (traditional ramen), there was no contest amongst the two: Tonkatsu with it’s slightly creamy broth was the winner. The chicken reminded me of chicken noodle soup. While it was tasty, it was still the small plates that truly dazzled me.
We were told about the Rainbow “cake” which is a specialty not available outside of New York and California. I was expecting more of a cake than a round jello balls, which was what it turned out to be.
When you drive into Town Brookhaven where Tanaka Ramen is located it is one of the first restaurants on the left. Parking may be problematic in Town Brookhaven (even on the Wednesday when I visited street parking was scarce). I recommend parking in the back and there’s a cut through right to the restaurant.
I really liked the mix of laid back and casual atmosphere of Tanaka but still more than a fast casual spot, but with affordable pricing. Ramen was just around $14 and appetizers averaged just about $6.