Monday, November 2, 2015


Ivan Ramen at Pot (pop-up)
The Line Hotel
3515 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Tel: 213.368.3030
$$$$ ($50+)
Cuisine: Japanese/Korean
Mon, 10/11/2015, 8:30pm reservation
    (3.5 Piglets)

Ivan Orkin is the Jewish kid who is the creator of Ivan Ramen, the successful ramen shop in Tokyo that has since expanded to New York. The ramen is delicate with a different texture than the ramen we are so familiar with. 

Roy Choi is the creator of Pot, the fairly new restaurant serving Korean food but with an American twist.

Somehow, these two mashed up and decided to collaborate with one another. For two nights, Ivan Ramen did a pop-up at Pot, serving a Prix-fixe ramen menu for $50. So it was only natural that I partake in this event and taste what Orkin's ramen is made of (and you can also order from the POT menu...which I ended up doing as well). 

The interior
Interior part deux
COURSE 1: HAM AND EGGS: Uni, country ham. This dish reminded me of spam musubi based on the shape and texture. The ham was just ok, adding a bit of saltiness to the dish. The uni was creamy and actually pretty tasty. Together, it was good, but it wasn't spectacular by any means. 
COURSE 2: TOFU CONEY ISLAND: Miso mushroom chili, yellow mustard, white onions. I actually enjoyed this dish. The tofu was lightly fried with a slight fermented taste. The miso mushroom chili was a bit salty but with a deep, rich flavor to it. It reminded me of Chinese fermented bean paste. 
UNI DYNAMITE RICE (Not part of the menu-$19.00): Basically, this is your uni rice. It was my second time having it. The first time, I absolutely loved it. This time, not so much. I'm not sure why...whether  it was the result of ordering some spicy POT dishes my first time around that led to the uni rice cooling down my palate...or it just tasted better before. The uni dynamite was a bit spicy with a rich and creamy texture. The rice was a tad crispy with a smokey flavor that I appreciated. But for some reason, I didn't love it. 
COURSE 3: CHINESE GREENS AND GARLIC: Sweet soy pickled garlic love sauce. This tasted very Chinese to me. If I wanted Chinese food, I would've went to a Chinese restaurant. The greens were cold and cooked well, soft with a bite to it. The sauce was sweet with a savory flavor to it. It was tasty nonetheless. 
MY FAVORITE DISH. COURSE 4: TRIPLE PORK GARLIC MAZEMEN: Tonkotsu broth, pork chashu, whole wheat noodle. When I read tonkotsu and garlic, I was sold. To my disappointment, it was more of a dry ramen dish with a tonkotsu sauce to it. It had a lot of flavor, and it was rich, but it was too salty in my opinion. I think I drank two-three cups of water by the time I was done with this dish. The noodles had a Chinese-Taiwanese consistency to it. It was good but I'm glad I didn't have to trek all the way to NY or Japan to try this ramen, cause I think I would be drowning in my sorrows if I did. Still, I think this was the best dish of the night.
COURSE 5: POT ICE CREAM SLIDER: Vanilla ice cream, kochujang caramel, ginger honey toasted brioche bun. I disliked this dish....a lot. I feel that ice cream sliders are hard to present as a dessert simply because of the difficulty in finding the right bread: ice cream ratio balance. The bun soaked up all the ice cream of this dish, which I felt was the best ingredient. I disliked the brioche bun, mostly cause the ginger dominated the dish (I hate ginger, but others who love ginger might love this). The kochujang caramel was interesting, but not impressive. 

Overall, I wasn't impressed with Ivan Ramen. It was just way too salty and left me feeling dissatisfied, which isn't a good feeling. Additionally, I felt that the prix fixe menu wasn't worth $50 in my opinion. It was the most I've ever spent on ramen. If the ramen wasn't enough, you could have ordered additional ramen for $17. I probably would have drank a gallon of water if I chose to order more. I'm not saying the flavors weren't good, cause they were. However, I'm basing this on the quality and the pricing and it just wasn't worth $50 in this case. 

1 comment:

  1. Pot is good and I've had a good experience eating there. I just didn't love the food when Ivan Ramen had a pop up at Pot.