In 2007, Ivan Orkin, a middle-aged Jewish guy from Long Island, did something crazy. In the food-zealous, insular megalopolis of Tokyo, Ivan opened a ramen shop. He was a gaijin (foreigner), trying to make his name in a place that is fiercely opinionated about ramen. At first, customers came because they were curious, but word spread quickly about Ivan’s handmade noodles, clean and complex broth, and thoughtfully prepared toppings. Soon enough, Ivan became a celebrity — a fixture of Japanese TV programs and the face of his own best-selling brand of instant ramen. Ivan opened a second location in Tokyo, and then returned to New York City to open his first US branch.