For singles, going out to get a meal alone can be a trying and conspicuous experience, but Japan's Ichiran restaurant chain is working to normalize solo dining. Ichiran, which opened its first North American location in Brooklyn, is a ramen restaurant in which diners eat in solitary booths without ever interacting with any people, including waiters and staff.
This "low-interaction dining," as the chain refers to it, isn't just about limiting the pressure of making social interactions, or a lack thereof. The philosophy behind the anti-social dining experience is also that such an experience enhances one's focus on the flavors in the ramen, since a lack of social considerations mean more mental energy remaining for taste.
Whether or not the taste theory holds, Ichiran certainly offers a convenient way for single diners to feel comfortable while they eat.