Friday, June 13, 2014

Ivan Ramen in the Lower East Side...Worth the Higher Prices?

I've been eating ramen on a fairly regular basis these days, and Ivan Ramen has been on my radar since they opened up in the Lower East Side over a month ago. Looking at the menu I noticed that the prices are a bit higher than many ramen spots, including apps that were flirting at or over the $10 mark and bowls of ramen range from $13 to $15.  Though for convenience they do accept credit cards which may factor into the higher prices...

I really haven't had a lot of mazemen (soup-less) ramen and the Ivan's Triple Pork Triple Garlic dish sounded great.  The concentrated, reduced pork broth was indeed rich and flavorful, and the char shu and bacon bits inside were good, I wish there was more garlic flavor as advertised.  At $15, I also wish the serving was bigger; it really was on the small side for the price.

I was with my brother for dinner here after work and he ordered their shio ramen and was very disappointed.  I also tried the broth and thought it was somewhat one-dimensional.  My brother said the noodles were also seemed a little mushy/overcooked.

For an appetizer we both loooove okonomiyaki and wanted to try their version, using a waffle and scrapple bits instead of an egg based omelette/pancake.  Pretty interesting and the the scrapple does work well with it, but it tastes too much like just a regular okonomiyaki.  But again, with the price of the appetizer for $12 for a small-ish okonomiyaki it's just simply not worth it...

Would I go there again? Prolly not... While there aren't really many ramen spots in the Lower East Side (only Yuji Ramen comes to mind), in my opinion it's worth the few minutes walk up to the East Village for some great options.

Ivan Ramen
25 Clinton St.
New York, NY 10002
(646) 678-3859 

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