Tale of the Tape

Ivan Ramen and Okonomi

Ali vs. Frazier.

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...

The Background
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.

The Scene
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.

The Edibles
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.


Ivan Ramen
25 Clinton St
(between Stanton and Houston)
New York, NY 10002
official website

150 Ainslie St
(between Leonard and Lorimer)
Brooklyn, NY 11211
official website


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