1. The menu. It’s the perfect combination of hot and cold dishes, donburi, nigiri, sashimi, fresh and simple makimono and best of all, steaming hot noodle bowls. 2. Anticipation for the 5-table outdoor patio in the tiny, foliage-filled space behind the dining room. 3. So, about those noodle bowls, did I mention they were delicious? arami ramen has thick slabs of pork belly, braised beef and an egg, kimchi ramen is a spicy, sinus-opening mix of tofu, pork belly egg, scallions, and veggie udon offers soy-braised daikon, mushrooms, eggplant, carrots, scallion and egg. 4. The presentation. So much attention to detail, lovely China (right down to the tea presentation), and nary a blade of plastic grass in sight. 5. It’s in my hood, of course. Arami, 1829 W. Chicago Ave., 312.243.1535
* aaaand one thing I don’t love…the place is tiny, popular and service can be slow, so anticipate a wait during prime dining hours or make a res.