Ivan Ramen

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90 Excellent

Ivan Orkin and his chefs indulge in all sorts of non-ramen fusion experiments at this fun, sunny noodle joint.

25 Clinton St., New York, NY, 10002

646-678-3859

http://www.ivanramen.com/

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The lowdown

Long Island–born Japanophile Ivan Orkin’s penchant for freewheeling originality works because he marries it to a studied reverence for ramen’s subtler traditions and his borderline-obsessive attention to detail. Before opening in New York, Orkin meticulously tinkered with noodle recipes to find the right texture and flavor, eventually landing on options made with toasted rye flour and a heartier whole-wheat noodle used in Orkin’s brothless mazemen. (There are also tofu noodles for the gluten-averse.) The broths and toppings are no less fussed-over. The highly celebrated, rip-roaring spicy ramen is built on the foundation of a homemade chile mix, and the famed triple-garlic, triple-pork mazemen is as gloriously caloric as the name suggests. At this Lower East Side flagship, the best non-noodle dishes — such as chunks of fried tofu covered in mushroom chili and yellow mustard — marry Japanese ideas with American junk food in spectacularly enjoyable fashion.

What you need to know

Insider Tips The small space gets crowded quickly, so absolutely try to make a reservation ahead of time.

Recommended DishesTofu Coney Island; spicy red chili ramen; triple pork triple garlic mazemen.

DrinksBeer & Wine Only

Noise LevelBring earplugs!