Address: 25 Clinton Street
What we ordered:
- Triple Pork Triple Garlic Mazemen (would recommend)
- Vegetarian Ramen
Cost (post-tax, pre-tip): $35.93
Ryan slept for most of the meal, and opened her eyes and looked around for some of it. She had some very minor whining, too.
Ryan’s Report Card (1-10): 9
Ivan Ramen is a ramen spot in the Lower East Side with a fun story behind it. Ivan is a “Jewish kid from Long Island” who got a degree in Japanese, moved to Japan, returned to the US for culinary school, went back to Japan to open his first 2 ramen shops, then came back again to open his NY shops.
We went to his ‘flagship’ US spot in the LES which has capacity for 50 and has a very cool diner feel inside.
The walls in the front part of the restaurant have a very colorful hodge podge/collage filled with things from Japanese culture.
The staff were accommodating in finding us the best seat to fit Ryan in. We ended up taking out the car seat and folding up the stroller to store next to our seats which worked just fine. We kept the car seat on the floor and kept her happy by rocking her. We came at the perfect time, right after they opened, because it quickly got busy.
The menu had a good selection of ramen in addition to some other Japanese dishes. Our waiter advised us on the menu and recommended that Rob get the Triple Pork Triple Garlic Mazemen, though he was already planning to get it anyway.
Rob’s Mazemen was a non-traditional (non-brothy) ramen, and he added an egg. There was a single big piece of pork in the bowl which is standard. The egg was cold and soft-boiled, but runny. Rob’s noodles were thick whole-wheat noodles and harder than expected – they reminded him of pasta we had in Italy. Everything was nice and salty with pork flavors, but for being “triple garlic” it wasn’t very garlicky.
Melissa’s Vegetarian Ramen was a traditional broth-based ramen dish. It looked spicy and veggie-full, but it wasn’t too spicy at all. She really enjoyed the different elements like enoki mushrooms and roasted tomato which seemed unique. It also had some cubed tofu and a bunch of greens on top. There were too many noodles for her liking (she’s not a big pasta/noodle fan), but she thought the broth had a really nice flavor. Ramen isn’t high on her list of foods so this category in general will probably get lower scores on her side.
Probably the highlight of the meal was the older woman (probably 70) sitting at the table next to us with her husband that was playing Pokemon Go on her phone throughout the meal, even between bites. Kids these days…
Overall we liked the setting here and thought the meal was pretty good. This was our first foray into the Ramen category so it’s too soon to say how this will rank!