Best Bites, Chicago

This week’s Best Bite: Musclemen ramen, Oiistar

Musclemen ramen with mussels, onion, chili pepper, scallion, and bonito miso

Musclemen ramen with mussels, onion, chili pepper, scallion, and bonito miso

Why it’s this week’s Best Bite: When a ramen craving struck me on a snowy afternoon, I popped over to Oiistar, a relatively new Wicker Park spot I’d been eyeing. Bypassing all the tempting varieties of bao, and even the avocado tempura – next time! – I zeroed in on a mussel-centric ramen. Besides at least a dozen plump mussels, the giant bowl also contained an umami-rich seafood broth with chewy noodles, two kinds of onion, and tons of garlic. Moderately spicy chiles also upped the soup’s warmth factor. Happily rotating between slurps of noodles, mussels, and broth, I settled in with a book and soaked up the sounds of the restaurant’s catchy R&B playlist.

The details: Oiistar, 1385 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago.

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