Ice or Rice, Alpha Ramen Open in AsiaTown

The eateries are a few doors apart in the AsiaTown neighborhood

click to enlarge Now open in AsiaTown - Ice or Rice
Ice or Rice
Now open in AsiaTown
A pair of new eateries has opened a few doors apart in the AsiaTown neighborhood of Cleveland.

Ice or Rice Cafe (3713 Payne Ave., 216-999-7388) has been in the works for years when you consider the pop-ups and events that owners Brian Ng and Rachel He have hosted in the past. Ice or Rice was a regular vendor at events such as the Asian Festival and night markets, where their Japanese shaved ice dessert was always in demand.

At the cafe, diners can start with appetizers like edamame, seaweed salad, tempura shrimp and chicken karaage (Japanese fried chicken). Onigiri, triangular seaweed-wrapped rice balls, come lightly filled with tuna, salmon or sweet pork floss.

Everybody's favorite Spam dish, musubi, is on offer, as is a trio of okonomiyaki (cabbage pancakes). An assortment of sushi rolls — plain and special — are joined by beefy Japanese style hot dogs, or Japadogs, topped with sweet, savory and tangy sauces.

click to enlarge Crisp crab roll - Douglas Trattner
Douglas Trattner
Crisp crab roll
To drink, there is an assortment of milk tea, bubble tea and fruit tea. One can assume that come summer, Ice or Rice will roll out the kakigori, the shaved ice desserts that drew such long lines.

Alpha Ramen (3701 Payne Ave.) seemingly appeared out of nowhere, surprising even AsiaTown insiders. The restaurant opened this week with a laser-like focus on ramen.

The spare dining room offers guests a choice of miso, spicy miso or spicy garlic miso ramen, tonkotsu or spicy tonkotsu ramen, and spicy Korean kimchi ramen. The only other item on the menu is takoyaki, fried octopus balls.

Subscribe to Cleveland Scene newsletters.

Follow us: Google News | NewsBreak | Reddit | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter
Like this story?
SCENE Supporters make it possible to tell the Cleveland stories you won’t find elsewhere.
Become a supporter today.

Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
Scroll to read more Food News articles

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.