UrbanDaddy is a free exclusive email magazine devoted to keeping you in the know.

New York Home > Food > Tale of the Tape

Published May 12, 2014

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.
  • January 21, 2015

    Pillow Talk

    Pillow Talk
    Bivalves and Wine near the Hudson

  • January 19, 2015

    Thigh High

    Thigh High
    An LES Lunch Counter Extraordinaire

  • January 14, 2015

    Cherub Rock

    Cherub Rock
    The Most Critical February 14 Tables in Town

  • January 13, 2015

    Sant Stop, Won’t Stop

    Sant Stop, Won’t Stop
    Dates Under the High Line. From the Carbone Guys.

  • January 09, 2015

    Wreck-It Ralph

    Wreck-It Ralph
    Ralph Lauren’s Midtown Dinner Behemoth

© 2015 UrbanDaddy.
All Rights Reserved.
Photo, Ivan Ramen: Oleg March