My dining experience at Ippudo was definitely one of the most unique in recent memory. Perhaps too, it was one of the most ridiculously priced meals as it was ramen, which I gained great expertise in during college. Instead of a 25¢ pack of noodles, it was a $12 bowl. It was definitely better than the old block of noodles and little packet of seasoning. And Ippudo is definitely authentic. Our server barely spoke English, and I'm pretty sure ours was the only table without at least one Japanese diner. After the hour-plus wait, as we were walking in to the restaurant, at least a dozen servers and other staff members stopped to greet us in Japanese.
Ordering was a bit of a struggle but we managed to each try a different ramen and a few appetizers. Each dish came in a unique bowl with noodles, of course, vegetables, and some slices of pork tenderloin (with a fatty rind). We also tried a few dishes of pickled vegetables. With some Japanese beer and sake cocktails, it proved to be a very authentic Japanese meal. I think that the restaurant is probably a popular chain in Japan so maybe we're thinking it's amazing when there it is like TGI Friday's or something. But regardless, it was a great experience.