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The first North American outpost of this Japan-spawned mini-chain is not unlike many other ramen houses in the city: a small room, a small menu, raucous atmosphere, ridiculously happy servers. Where Marutama stands apart is in the bowl: unlike the pork-based broths found elsewhere, the specialty here is a rich rendition made of chicken, rendered cloudy from the use of feet and abdominal meat as well as bones. Aosa seaweed adds saltiness, while options such as pork fillet, sea lettuce, and/or a perfectly soft-boiled egg lend further flavour dimensions. Bring friends so you can sample various small plates such as grilled gyoza and marinated white radish. Bonus: you can request your noodles soft or the more traditional al dente.

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