By the fourth and final day of our stay had rolled around, my mind and body had detached from the city without reservation. For the sake of my hygienic sanity, it was imperative to abandon the place whose air felt filthier than a jog in 37-degreee weather.
Alas, we would not be boarding until the early evening. A half-day's worth of possibilities lay before us.
An ongoing three-dollar beer special was being promoted via banners along the exposed concrete-esque walls. This was taken advantage of first before reverting back to menu options.
Setagaya's noodles were observed to be lighter (read: thinner) and softer than the standard. Texture-wise, they were bouncy and satisfying; the strings of carbohydrates worked well to support the varying densities of the dipping sauce.
The topmost layer was a spicy oil-vinegar emulsion, the middle soy, and the bottom a sweet miso. In spite of carrying initial doubts, each addition of this carefully crafted sauce solidified its role in the dish. The Mazemen was undeniably unique, and the triple-threat topping simply made it irresistible.
The single bathroom stall was, well, tiny - microscopic, even. It appeared as if a plumbing system-equipped storage room had been altered at the last minute during construction.
Perhaps the influence of lavender was bolder, but its aura was prominently synthetic.
In concept, I saw no flaws. In execution, the quality had fallen as an aftermath of integration into the American market.