When Justin and I first started dating, he introduced me to SiriusXM radio. I quickly became obsessed with the AltNation channel, and listen almost exclusively to that. At the start of our relationship, Milky Chance’s song, Stolen Dance, was at the top of the AltNation charts, and was a song that held so many memories and laughs for us. We’d been dying to see Milky Chance live, so when the chance (haha, our “Milky” chance) came, we grabbed it. We saw him this past Tuesday, the 31st of March, at Webster Hall. Obviously, this also necessitated a meal…
We wanted to find something a little bit different than what we’d been doing lately, and also something a little bit cheaper – this Baconboozer lifestyle is pretty expensive. We went with Ivan Ramen, on the lower east side in Manhattan. OMG this place is incredible.
We took their first reservation, at 5:30 and the place quickly filled up over the course of our meal. I’d definitely recommend making a reservation. Our waitress was so extremely helpful and cool to talk to. She was really passionate about the food – which is always great – but also really honest. At first, Justin was going to pick a few cocktails for us to try, and she told us that they tend to be very sweet drinks. So we opted out of that, and let her pick a sake for us, since neither of us really know a think about sake.
She gave us this, which turned out to be delicious and a really nice pairing with every component of our meal.
As usual, I asked for suggestions or “must haves.” We took her suggestions, and were very happy that we did. For our meal, we did the 1000 year old deviled egg, pickled daikon, pork meatballs, ankimo dirty rice, and triple pork triple garlic mazemen.
The pickled diakon (shaved daikon, dried shrimp, and scallop chili oil) was so unique and so delicious. Unique and delicious was a theme for the entire meal. I found myself pinching up the tiny pieces of shrimp with my fingers, worrying that it would be a mortal sin to leave even the tiniest crumb.
The 1000 year old deviled egg (hen egg and preserved duck egg, tomato, bonito) was a great little taste for only $3.50. The filling was not only beautiful to look at but beautiful to disect all the flavors. It is a very fishy taste, which I love, but stay away if you’re not the biggest fan of “fishy.”
Next, the pork meatballs (buttermilk dressing, bulldog sauce, bonito). These bad boys just won “best meatball in NYC” from NY Magazine, and we instantly understood why. They were almost like dumpling meatballs. Meaty, and fishy, and sweet, and tender. The waitress informed us that they’re made by whipping tofu into the meat so they’re extra fluffy. She also informed us that they come with the two dressings: the buttermilk is house made, but the bulldog dressing is store bought. We placed our amazon order for this bulldog sauce before finishing the dish. This dish was an absolute cannot miss must have from the restaurant.
The animo dirty rice (monkfish liver, lemon, scallion) was incredibly fishy and briny and amazing. I attempted to eat it with my chop sticks, but couldn’t shovel it into my mouth fast enough that way, so I moved on to using my soup spoon so that I could eat it more savagely.
The triple pork triple garlic mazemen (tonkotsu broth, port chashu, whole wheat noodle), was excellent, as well. Extremely porky. Asian comfort food at it’s absolute best.
Having felt like we had ordered a ton of food, we were surprisingly not overly stuffed by the end of our meal. Our waitress selected another glass of sake for us. I forget what it was called, but it was almost a creamy consistency with some kind of coconut flavor to it. An awesome last little taste.
Unfortunately Ivan Ramen does not serve dessert – the only flaw I could find with the place. However, the waitress was more than happy to give us a list of great dessert options nearby. We walked a few storefronts down and checked out Cocoa Bar, where we were able to order a nice dessert wine and perfectly fudgey brownie.
They also had a whole showcase of other awesome looking chocolate candies and pastries.
After our feasting, we grabbed an Uber up to Webster Hall to finally see our beloved Milky Chance. I usually hate general admission concerts, but we got a pretty great spot on the balcony level. James Hersey opened for Milky, and he was great… I never have high expectations for openers that I know nothing about, but I’ll definitely be checking out his album. And Milky Chance was even better than I expected. I was surprised by the high energy level and cool lighting effects they used throughout the show. If you’ve heard Stolen Dance, you’d probably understand why I expected an emo stoner with giant fluffy hair, sitting on a stool, quietly singing, on the verge of tears. But the duo was great and kept the crowd engaged and dancing throughout the whole show. Here are some of my better photos:
It was really a great night all together. Ivan Ramen earned a much sought after five star Baconboozer rating. It’s a place I really think people need to check out if they’re in NYC. I can’t wait to go back for more meatballs, and to try some other noodles and dishes! And check out James Hersey and Milky Chance – pretty awesome artists!