Well my efforts to dine at the new Ikebukero Taishoken were thwarted today (again) as the line was about 30 people long at 1 PM on a Saturday. (However I was lucky enough to snap a picture of the famous Yamagishi-san sitting outside the entrance to the restaurant). About 3 minutes past Taishoken, on the same side of the road, going east, near the stop for the Toden Arakawa line, was Kuro Nabe. Very small and cramped shop, looked like 8 seats max and no tables. Very "cozy". Bilingual English/Japanese radio was playing in the background. The broth was very dark and rich, a slight thickness to it, shoyu with maybe a bit of tonkotsu, and had a "grilled sweet" taste, like AjiichiI would say that the onions were a good addition for this dish and help distinguish it. Just the right amount of ground pepper was placed on top of them. I got the dai (大) for 1000 yen, while the bowl and the broth were generously portioned, my opinion is that while the taste is excellent, there should be a little more pork for the price. Tissues are under the counter.
Diddlefinger Map (English labels)