At Tatsu, an animated ordering process lets you choose from two items: a standard tonkotsu ramen, or "naked ramen"; and a chilled soupless creation lashed with a sweet and spicy sesame oil known as Hiyashi chuka. You customize it by flicking little options for your desired protein (pork, tofu or chicken); the level of garlic and spiciness; and whether you want green onions, a soft-boiled egg, kernels of corn, dried seaweed or bits of fresh garlic (all are free, by the way). You swipe a credit card or insert cash and the machine spits out a receipt like an arcade prize ticket. Dehumanizing the restaurant process never felt so fun.
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Have you been keeping count of the new ramen places springing up around town? Because, honestly, we lost track a while ago -- first were the places doing the ultra-specialized Hakata-style tonkotsu, whose preparation is more rigidly...