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Long-awaited ramen place Little Big Diner finally opens

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Ramen from Little Big Diner.

Newton, ramen is now yours: The long-awaited Little Big Diner is open (1247 Centre St. at Beacon Place). Owner David Punch, who also runs Sycamore a few blocks away, has described his 19-seat restaurant as an "East Asian soul food diner." Feast on spicy and subtle ramen, dumplings, and rice bowls topped with the likes of pork katsu, charred tofu, or bulgogi from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., except on Thursdays, when you can slurp until 1 a.m.

Shojo chef Mark O'Leary will soon cook at Ruckus Noodles in Chinatown, run by Shojo's Brendan and Brian Moy (5 Tyler St. at Kneeland Street). Expect "well-crafted broths and fun, interesting toppings" at the 20-or-so seat spot, says O'Leary. He estimates an April opening. Shojo serves what just might be the most gluttonous dish in town — duck fat fries doused in cheese and mapo tofu.


As noted last week, Cambridge's Ten Tables (5 Craigie Circle at Craigie Street) will close. Stan Hilbert, general manager at Ten Tables' Jamaica Plain location, will turn the space into a bistro called Forage, showcasing nearby farmers. "I want a cozy vibe, the type of neighborhood place people can come to a few times a month and really relax," he says. Ten Tables chef Eric Cooper will cook here, too. Former Ten Tables Cambridge chef Ben Lacy plans to scout restaurants in the suburbs now that the restaurant is closed. "Every single table was a VIP table for me. I'll miss our regular guests," Lacy says.

Bessie King reports that her family's beloved burrito shop, Villa Mexico, once located inside a Beacon Hill gas station, is now open in the Financial District (121 Water St. at Broad Street). King and her mom, Julie, sell burritos, quesadillas, flautas, dessert, fruit juices, and Mexican hot chocolate — plus Julie King's signature bottled salsa.


Kara Baskin can be reached at kcbaskin@gmail.com