Is It Chill, Tho?: Stoner Foodies Take On NYC Hot Spots
We’re Cotton Mouth Cutie and Sierra Spliff*, and we love food. Give us a good menu and we’ll be speechless for a rare few minutes of our day. We read all the food blogs and follow all the Instagram accounts. We try them all.
The only difference between us and “them” is that we love weed. Especially a slim spliff before a fine dining experience.
We decided to create a blog that answers all of our bougie stoner needs. We answer the one question you need to know before lighting up and hopping on the train–Is it chill tho?
Tucked in the grimey corner of the city where the Williamsburg bridge lands in the Lower East Side, Nakamura Ramen might be the chillest ramen spot around. While we find Totto to be the best ramen in the city, it’s a totally unchill environment. First of all, it’s in midtown–ew. And second, there is always a wait and it’s cash only, two things stoners really just can’t deal with. The munchies can’t endure a 15-45 min wait, plus the possibility that the $40 we think we have might just be a few rolled singles! Also, the restaurant is pretty much a ramen dungeon. It’s a few steps below the street, with signs everywhere that yell “DO NOT BLOCK THE SIDEWALK.” Our stoner selves would just space out and block the sidewalk, and then get yelled at and then panic and then probably just leave and go to McDonalds. But, if you’re a zen master and are seeking some delicious and balanced ramen (not too thick, not too spicy, not at all pretentious) Totto is the place.
Anyway–back to Nakamura.
We both soberly Ubered to Nakamura and then shared a spliff outside. It wasn’t uncomfortable at all–while in downtown Manhattan, the area isn’t quite as fancy as somewhere like the Bowery, and the neighbors truly didn’t mind. Walking into the restaurant, one sees a bright turquoise wall with the cute vintage lights reading “Nakamura.” It’s a warm welcome, although the restaurant is very small and kind of hard to find, as there isn’t really a sign outside yet. This cute lil’ ramen shop is so small that we were thankful to have come late in the evening, so that we didn’t have to bump into other patrons while awkwardly babbling and stoned. Luckily, the staff was extremely friendly, and they played the best music ever. Each song that came on was a banger; when was the last time you heard 50 Cent followed by Toro y Moi?
The menu is very small, so you don’t have to overthink anything. We were too stoned and hungry to even notice if they served drinks, but we started with the barley tea (yum) and then the teppan gyoza (pork, cabbage, and ginger dumplings). The dumplings were so dank, sizzling and delicious. It was perfect just sitting there listening to Bob Marley and eating dumplings, but then there was the ramen.
Sierra Spliff asked the waiter what he’d recommend. Cotton Mouth Cutie is allergic to seafood, so she was super tripped out when he explained that most of the ramen broths are half seafood-based and half chicken-based. It really threw Cotton Mouth Cutie for a loop because she couldn’t try the house favorite, which she was fully pumped for. Ugh.
So, Cotton Mouth Cutie got the vegan ramen option, the XO Miso Ramen, with an egg, and Sierra Spliff got the Torigara Ramen with pork and an egg. The vegan ramen tasted like was very light miso; almost too light. The Torigara ramen was a bit heavy. Sierra Spliff actually preferred the vegan to the Torigara, but in the end, we both liked the dumplings and the music the best–although we both ate every last drop of broth, and every last noodle.
In conclusion, Nakamura Ramen is super chill. Great ambiance, delicious food, cool crowd–an all-around pleasant place to be stoned in. It might not be the absolute best ramen you’ve ever had–but then again, if you eat it high, it just might be.
Chill Factor: 5/5
Original illustrations done exclusively for Milk by Megan Bell
*Names have been changed to protect our intrepid restaurant reviewers, who work in non-weed friendly industries.
Stay tuned to Milk for more 4/20 delights.