Tale of the Tape
Ivan Ramen and Okonomi
Bulls vs. Blazers.
Joe vs. the Volcano.
... None of these fights was as delicious as this...
Pull up a chair for Ivan Ramen (left) vs. Okonomi, a battle between the two most anticipated ramen spots of 2014, which happen to have sprung to life about a week apart. Let’s take a look at the tale of the tape...
Ivan: Ivan Orkin’s a New Yorker who, somehow, became the most beloved ramen chef in Japan before returning for this (and the Slurp Shop at Gotham West).
Okonomi: Yuji Haraguchi built a massive Smorgasburg line into a couple pop-ups, and now this.
Edge: Ivan. No disrespect to Smorgasburg lines.
Ivan: A narrow, classic LES space with a Japanese-comic mosaic and a lunch-counter vibe. Check out the tiny patio out back.
Okonomi: 10 seats of Japanese minimalism (and an orchid) on just about the most discreet block in Williamsburg.
Edge: Okonomi. The ramen should do the talking.
Ivan: Six different ramens including his classic Tokyo-style salt-based version, along with 1,000-year-old deviled eggs and a take on a Coney dog with fries that includes neither dog nor fries.
Okonomi: Yuji specializes in mazemen (less brothy ramen) served with things like mackerel and ramps on the side. But look out for ramen omakase soon.
Edge: You. In a landslide.