Ramen continues to be the most pervasive Japanese noodle export in NYC so far, but udon's about to get some love, thanks to a Japanese chain opening up its first restaurant in the USA. On Monday, TsuruTonTan makes its debut on East 16th Street, where Danny Meyer's celebrated Union Square Cafe once lived. The restaurant's main drive is different types of udon, the thick, versatile noodles that are one of the national dishes of Japan.

Udon dishes come in many forms, but most of us have tried the doughy noodles in some kind of clear, savory broth, perhaps topped with shrimp tempura, or a richer curry sauce. Tsurutontan offers both, plus milky "creme" varieties and others that come without any broth at all, like their Mentai Caviar Udon, a signature dish that employs cod roe.

Beyond the dozens of different udons, this incarnation will also offer sashimi, Tatsuta Fried Chicken topped with a thick Shibazuke Tartar sauce, and other non-noodle-based dishes.

21 E 16th Street, (212) 989-1000; website