Ganko Ittesu Ramen (Brookline Coolidge Corner, MA)

As mentioned in the openings thread, a new ramen shop has opened in the old MJ Ready Thai space in the Coolidge Corner Arcade. What I did not realize until I walked into there today is that Chef Iwaoka who was behind the the ramen pop ups at Osushi in Harvard Square was the one opening Ganko Ittesu Ramen. My advice, run don’t walk for some of the best ramen in the area.

The menu, pictured below, is very similar to what was served at the Osushi pop ups, serving varieties of ramen: Shoyu, Tan Tan, and Miso. I went with the Miso today, as it was the only one I had not tried previously. Similar to the other styles, the borth had a level of complexity that set it apart from other locally available ramen. The Miso includes one nice piece of succulent and ample sized chasu, and a perfectly executed 5 minute egg, in addition to a variety of toppings that are another distinguishing feature of these ramens. Note that the Tan Tan does not include chasu, so you need to order it separately. I prefer the Tan Tan and Shoyo to the Miso, but they are all excellent. The noodles have just the right amount of chew for my liking. It seems like there is less noodles and more toppings than other ramens, but the balance works extremely well. I did throw in some crunchy garlic today, and I would add that again.

It is a fairly small shop, with 5 seats at the counter and table seating for about 12 more. It was half full at lunch time today. Get over there and support these guys for a friendly and delicious meal. Metered parking is readily available in the lot on Center Street directly behind the Arcade, and is is readily accessible via T and bus. The location in the arcade can be a bit hidden for those who have never been in that building, but it is very accessible.


looks promising, thanks for the review.

Went back yesterday for the Tan Tan. No photo this time, but it was fantastic. As good, if not better, than I remember from the HSQ pop ups. Every individual flavor is just delicious. For me, this place has the best ramen in the area, head and shoulders above anything else. They were completely full at lunch time on this visit, but no wait. I really love the balance of flavors and ingredients. Again, if you are a noodle freak, this might not be your favorite ramen. Noodle quality is excellent, but quantity is proportionally less than many other ramens. Yum!

There’s what looks to be a new ramen place in the Arcade building in Brookline, in the space that used to house the Thai restaurant. Not sure of the name, and there doesn’t appear to be a lot of variety (4 or 5 menu items, IIRC from my brief peek at the menu).

MJ Ready was the name of the Thai place. It was my go to post monthly PT upstairs in the arcade. It was one of my favorite Thai places around. Their food was fresh with bright flavors. I was extremely bummed it closed, but am happy to hear there may be a new option. 4-5 menu items may be a good thing, sometimes less is more.

I had my first off experience at Ganko Ittesu yesterday. It was the first time I have been there when it was full. There was actually a small wait for a seat. It seems as if this was the cause of the issues. The woman sitting next to me with her son got her bowl about 5 minutes after he did because they had made an error and were making her a new one. When she received her ramen, the order was still incorrect.

The bowl I received was OK, but did not resemble my previous visits there at all. The 5 minute egg wa sadly way overdone. Proportion of toppings to noodles was out of whack, and the ramen seemed to have been hastily and carelessly plated. Usually the bowl arrives with each component arranged neatly and distinctly. I enjoy tasgint all of the individual flavors before things get mixed together. This time everything was muddled.

I am happy for them that the word is out, and confident they will get back to their level of quality. The chef knew it. He apologized to the woman next to me personally and said they needed to hire another person. For now, I will avoid peak times.

I haven’t been back here in awhile as I don’t have as much occasion to be in the area at lunch time. I was not very happy with the bowl I got last week. I ordered the Gankara Miso ramen and there were multiple issues with the ingredients. The corn, sprouts and cabbage were all ice cold. I was there a bit before noon, but there were already a few other people eating. Perhaps it was because they had just opened and these ingredients had been refrigerated from the day before, but this is still disappointing. Most egregious however was that the ajitma was (way) overcooked with the yolk being crumbly. Perhaps I have been spoiled by the care paid to every ingredient and bowl at Tsurumen. All I could think of was how Masuo would probably close shop before he would ever serve me something like that.


That sounds like a rather disappointing experience! I’ve been a few times and thoroughly enjoyed it each time…though I don’t believe I’d been right close to when it opens. Hopefully your experience is just a one-off. I have been meaning to make it out to Tsurumen–I’ve heard it’s very good.

What is ajitma?