This is a little late since I was there a month ago but I went, I tried, I enjoyed, I'm happy. It's a small place, extremely friendly and best of all, Ivan is behind the counter and very willing to speak to anyone who wants to make English conversation.
Basically, you sit, order, pay and then wait. He collects the money before you're served to avoid holding you up when you're done. This place has a very high turnover of people with people usually waiting so he said he does it for efficiency's sake. You're not more than 2-3 meters away from the woks so you get a good view of how everything is prepared. The noodles are hand made everyday by Ivan and are truly delicious.
Sounds like it's worth a try. I will be in Kami-Kitazawa in December so I'll definitely make an effort to try it out.
There was just an article in the Wall Street Journal about an American, Ivan Orkin, who runs a ramen shop in the Tokyo suburbs. The place is called Ivan Ramen.
Early press reviews are encouraging. Hiroshi Osaki claims to have eaten more bowls of ramen than anyone else in Japan -- an average of 800 bowls a year. He says Mr. Orkin's ramen is tasty, if a bit ordinary. But he credits Mr. Orkin for paying attention to details, such as warming each slice of pork before gently placing it on top of the noodles.
Apparently Mr. Orkin, an American expat living in Japan with his Japanese wife, was inspired by Momofuku in New York:
On a visit to New York in June of last year, Mr. Orkin checked out Momofuku Noodle Bar, a popular East Village restaurant where chef David Chang serves ramen-inspired noodles. The restaurant's success inspired him.
Has anybody been to Ivan Ramen?