The Skinny: Peter Meehan reviewed Ippudo for the Times a scant thirteen months ago. He loved the place, a verdict repeated in most of the other reliable reviews we’ve found. We haven’t been there ourselves, but the Internet consensus is that Ippudo is pretty damned good. That fact alone would seem to guarantee two stars.
On top of that, it’s hard to see any journalistic purpose in reviewing Ippudo again so soon, unless Bruni feels that it deserves another shout-out. Of course, shout-outs can be negative sometimes, but mediocre Asian restaurants are a dime a dozen. The only conceivable purpose of the review is to hand out another rave. We’ll assume that outrageous, indefensible three-star reviews don’t come very often, and as he did that last week, we aren’t going to see another trifecta.
Frank Bruni has a history of promoting $25 & Under Asian restaurants to two fine-dining stars. Sripraphai, Spicy & Tasty, and Momofuku Ssäm Bar have been among the beneficiaries (the latter since bumped up to three stars). Given his lame-duck status, we figure that Bruni just wants to have fun. He doesn’t have to review Ippudo. We assume, therefore, that he wants to review Ippudo.
The Prediction: We predict that Frank Bruni will award two stars to Ippudo.