With single-digit temperatures finally upon us, the time for ramen is now. Fortunately, one-stop ramen shops are opening up all over this town, providing refuge for the legions who can't bear to wait in the epic Ippudo line (though there is a way around that). Unfortunately, not all ramen is created equal, as evidenced by a recent visit to East Village newcomer Ramen Misoya.

The first New York location of a Japanese chain (there's also one in California), Misoya, as the name implies, specializes in miso-based broths. On Misoya's small menu, the soybean-paste based bowls arrives in three incarnations: kome (red), a mouth-coatingly rich style favored in Hokkadio; shiro (white), a lighter, blander broth common in Kyoto; and mame, a distinctly nutty, sweet style popular in Nagoya. Each of these bowls have their own distinct flavor profile, which is a welcome relief from the sea of indistinguishably broths at some other ramenyas, but the problem lies in the stock itself: made from chicken and pork bones, vegetables, garlic and kelp, it's greasy. Very greasy. Greasy enough to separate after mere minutes, leaving a filmy sheen of animal fat floating on top of your bowl that's tough to swallow for even the least calorie-conscious of diners. Hours after eating her last bite, this writer's tongue still felt weighted with an Altoid-defying coat of scum, to say nothing of her sucker-punched gut. So much for bringing "health and delicacy to people around the world."

Broth aside, the bowl has its ups and downs: at first glance, some might be dismayed by the thick, wavy noodles, which can be prone to sogginess owing to their increased mass. But their toothsome, chewy texture was a pleasant surprise, issues of delicacy aside. Some of the toppings—hunky corn kernels, spicy minced pork, and silky menma come to mind—were solid, but the crown jewel of ramen accoutrements, char siu pork, arrived thin, dry and charred on the edges. And the WTF-inducing winter special, "snow ramen," topped with a mountain of grated Parmesan cheese and butter, is enough to make even Paula Deen keel over. On the other hand—it's five minutes away from Ippudo, and line-free.

Ramen Misoya // 129 Second Avenue // 212-677-4825