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Ivan Ramen Is So Good It Will Make Your Eyes Explode

All photos by Nick Solares

On July 17, 2012, Ivan Orkin, perhaps the only Long Islander to become famous for running a duo of Tokyo ramen joints, hosted a one night pop-up at Momofuku Noodle Bar in Manhattan's East Village. The doors unlocked at 5:30 p.m. and shortly after 6 p.m. I was told there would be no more Ivan-brand ramen left because half the city, apparently plagued by a mid-summer flu pandemic, thought it would be smart to order hot soup on a 91 degree day. Sure, the sell-out was part hype (and part damnation of strict seasonality), but it also showed that New Yorkers wanted better Japanese noodles — and more of them.

Now, two years later, the Big Apple is well into the throes of a ramen revolution and helping to lead the charge is Orkin himself, with a sit-down restaurant on the Lower East Side and a leaner pay-before-you-eat outpost on the Far West Side. And amid our glut of good gluten, you can pretty much walk into either without a wait, though we'll revisit that statement come December.

Ivan Ramen is serving some serious noodles. >>>

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