Noodles and Pork: Three Variations
➼ Japanese ramen—not the packaged pap, but the true version with a base of long-simmered stock—is gaining traction locally. Among several venues that have opened in the last three years, Umaido (2790 Lawrenceville Suwanee Road, Suwanee) concocts the most consistent and rewarding renditions. Start your menu explorations with traditional tonkatsu ramen ($7.95), which showcases milky broth made from pork bones and includes roasted pork, mushrooms, and egg atop threadlike noodles.
➼ The food court at Duluth’s Assi Plaza (1630 Pleasant Hill Road) is an international culinary playground, and its centerpiece is China House, where cooks stretch sublime hand-pulled noodles to order and serve them in an inky black bean sauce heightened with bits of pork and caramelized onions ($5.95). For more on Assi Plaza, see Christiane Lauterbach’s column.
➼ Mirko Pasta—a rapidly expanding local chain helmed by Mirko Di Giacomantonio, one of the founders of Figo Pasta—presents diners with the task of mixing and matching pastas and sauces. After experimenting, we’re most enamored with a combination of homemade tagliatelle (golden ribbons nearly the width of fettuccine) with salsiccia e funghi, a light, silky cream sauce with wild mushrooms and robust hunks of sausage ($9.50).