Food & Drink

Get this belly in your belly

Having a perfect record is difficult to pull off, as evidenced by both the Patriots' failure to win the Super Bowl after going 18-0, and the fact that Curt Hennig keeps most of his Whitney Houston ones in a locked trunk in his attic. Trying to keep their own perfect streak going, the dudes behind UnderBelly.

Going five for five (as in five sweet hangouts in five years), the dudes behind Craft & Commerce and, like, four other places are back with their “homage to the ramen gods of Tokyo”: a cozy no-frills joint firmly planted in Red Velvet's old digs, still dominated by a wraparound central bar now bolstered with 31 beer/wine taps and an exterior-living, 3200-succulent reproduction of Warhol's portrait of Chairman Mao. Ramen comes standard with bean sprouts/ ginger/ scallions/ seaweed/ soft boiled egg/ sesame seeds, but can be tweaked with char-su belly, applewood bacon, and kurobuta sausage to make the signature UnderBelly Ramen, or oxtail dumpling/ smoked brisket/ hoisin-glazed short rib to create the Belly of the Beast, also the name of Hype Williams' long-forgotten sequel to Beauty and the Beast in which Angela Lansbury's tea kettle is now voiced by DMX. As customization is key to feelings of positive self-worth, they also have 11 add-on topping choices like broiled unagi, shishito peppers, sake-braised oxtail, kimchi octopus, and mushrooms that're bacon-wrapped, then presumably cooked at six degrees, Kelvin.

And because ramen and wine together are linked to great sexual virility (NOTE: don't look that up!), their four vino taps will pour selections from Sonoma Valley, while their 27 brew-nozzles will be consistently stocked with a rotating selection from Hitachino Nest along with “typically rare styles” like Stone's Old Guardian Barley Wine and Great Divide's Hades Ale -- have a sip and you won't help but exclaim to the bartender, "Hey Mister...perfect".