Last year when I tasted Koji Hagihara’s tonkotsu chashu ramen at LIC Flea & Food I liked it so much I told him I hoped he’d bring it to Queens year round. Hagihara is the chef at Hakata Tonton, a West Village eatery specializing in Japanese dishes made from pig’s feet. His tonkotsu ramen is nowhere to be found on Hakata Tonton’s menu. I am glad to report that he has started serving the fortifying noodle soup at the Flea every Saturday.
The cloudy broth is rich with pork flavor thanks to bones simmered for hours on end. Topped with pickled bamboo shoots; green onions; a wobbly disk of fatty pork belly; and sprinklings of sesame seeds and crushed red pepper, it’s the best bowl of flea market ramen to be had in Queens.
Tomorrow also marks the debut of LIC Flea’s beer garden. You might need a cold one if you decide to go heavy on the red pepper in your ramen.
LIC Flea & Food, 46th Avenue and 5th Street, Long Island City