1/24/2013 12:37:00 PM

Suzume Flies Into Williamsburg

While the latest crop of creative ramen shops has been popping up on the other side of Brooklyn (Chuko, Dassara, ZuZu Ramen), Williamsburg gains ground with the arrival of Suzume ("sparrow" in Japanese).

The cozy shop features a tightly curated menu divided into four sections - sushi/sashimi, rolls, ramen and hot/cold appetizers - with markers as to what's ocean-, pescetarian- and vegetarian-friendly. There are three sushi/sashimi options sold for $5 for one or $7.50 for three, and three rolls, including a take on a crunchy spicy tuna roll, here served with fried potatoes ($9). Though the sushi and starter/side dishes are appealing, given the current weather, the ramen is the star.

The most traditional version is the eponymous one, which is served with braised pork belly and scallion ($13). Unconventional takes dominate the three remaining choices, which include a charred apple noodle ramen with roasted Brussels sprouts and pickled carrots (served cold), a spicy butter tofu ramen with pork or miso broth, and a roasted salmon ramen with a spicy miso dashi. Ranging in price from $10-$13, it's certainly an affordable meal, and though the broths tend to be on the lighter, milder side, they're still filling. When it comes to dessert, it's Halloween - fun-size versions of candy staples such as Baby Ruths or Reese's come with the check. No one seemed to mind.

Those behind the curtain are Brooklyn vets, having opened Maggie Brown and The Emerson, with one owner, Michael Briones, having done time at Momofuku Noodle Bar. Like Maggie Brown, the space is intimate and homey, done up with dark wood, weathered mirrors and the required Edison bulb lighting. It might have only opened a week ago, but it already seems like locals have caught word.

Bring your bills because the joint's cash only, but if plastic is all you carry, an ATM (that gives you a nice view into the kitchen) is conveniently located in the back.

545 Lorimer St.; 718-486-0200


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