Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 06/04/2014
Photo: Daniel Krieger
25 Clinton St., 646-678-3859, Lower East Side, Manhattan
Just like good rock and roll, Ivan Orkin pushes the boundaries and introduces you to new riffs, in this case on Japanese classics. His Lower East Side flagship restaurant attracts the sort of crowd any band would want at a gig—young, stylishly disheveled, multiethnic, excited and not overly concerned about money. Not that Ivan Ramen is expensive, but it's no low-rent ramen joint either. There's precision and quality to the fried whole prawns with smoked chili and the savory triple pork-triple garlic, whole wheat, quick-cooked ramen with long-cooked, deeply flavored tonkotsu broth. The menu is more expansive than at Orkin's counter at Gotham West Market, and the narrow space is more artsy, with a collage of Japanese and American cartoon-y icons covering one wall. The open kitchen is lined with stools, and in back is a picnic-table-filled patio. Look for a smart selection of sake, beer and wine on tap, too.