A man slides onto a bar stool at lunchtime on a Tuesday, but instead of a pint he grabs a photograph-heavy menu that he shows to his mother, who sits next to him. "This one comes with pork," he explains, excited, pointing to one of the bowls. "They all come with an egg, too, and bamboo shoots."
She studies the pictures. "Sometimes in the movies, they call that the thousand-year old egg," she said. "What is shumai?"
There are eight different ramens to choose at 316 Ramen, which opened barely a month ago in North Bellmore, and the pair settle on chicken ramen — which besides an egg also comes with bamboo shoots, corn, scallions and bean sprouts.
For 28 years, this space held The Bayou, which at the time it closed was Long Island's longest-running Cajun restaurant. 316 Ramen opened its doors at the tail end of winter, keeping the rustic bar-and-grill vibe intact, with high-tops in the front and a small dining room in the back. Instead of rum and vodka bottles behind the bar, there's now a waving maneki-neko, a few houseplants and a dormant sake dispenser that will slug into action once the place has its liquor license. Until then, there is hot green tea and Japanese soda.
The menu is a succinct amalgamation of classic Japanese bar bites (shumai, gyoza and kara-age among them) and ramen bowls, including tonkotsu, shoyu, spicy miso and the usual suspects, priced between $15 and $17.
316 Ramen opens at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday to Saturday, and 3 p.m. on Sunday at 2823 Jerusalem Ave., North Bellmore. 516-303-0819, 316ramen.com