In Brief

Ichiran, a popular chain of ramen establishments, has opened its first U.S. location where diners focus solely on their food

When eating alone at a restaurant, people often turn to the refuge of their phones or a book. In Ichiran, a ramen restaurant chain, everyone eats alone for a more meditative dining experience. The brand just opened its first U.S. location.

At Ichiran, every customer sits in a isolated booth on a stool, with no distractions of any kind. In fact, there is no interaction with the waitstaff: customers simply check off what they want to eat, including type of noodle, broth and toppings, press a call button and wait for their ramen to be served. Customers also seat themselves, meaning there is no interaction with a host, either. This culinary philosophy is known as low-interaction dining and is meant to have the customer focus entirely on the food they’re eating. The company opened a 24-hour location in Bushwick, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, and follows the same rules as all of its other locations.

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