Much has been made of Killer Noodle‘s “7 Fundamentals.” At the latest Japantown restaurant from chef Takeshi Tsujita, which is wall-to-wall red and houses a bar lined with jars of fiery spices, it’s hard to tell if the menu’s serious or joking. Key “fundamentals” start by warning, “Our restaurant aims for painful, delicious and spicy,” and signs off with, “Please take care of your bottoms when you complete your meal.” Killer Noodle lives up to the name, specializing in Tokyo, Downtown, and Original style tantanmen (aka dan dan noodles) available either stir-fried or in soup.
Pick your preferred level of pain from a scale of 0-6. I’d suggest Original Style Tantanmen ($10.95) featuring a clear, but flavorful chicken and pork broth. Don’t let the color fool you. “Original” may be their only offering that isn’t flame red, but still delivers a numbing spice thanks to hana-sansho, peppercorns, and chilies. This bowl eschews a strong sesame flavor in favor of a shower of cayenne and black peppers and undercurrent of garlic, pickles, scallions, crunchy bean sprouts, cabbage, and fresh red pepper. Soft tofu cubes and ground pork provide heft, and a lemon squeeze lends enlightenment.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.