Release the Ramen: Mensho Tokyo Now Open in the TenderNob

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Organic shoyu ramen. Yelp photo by CityFoodsters/Grace C.

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The dining room at Mensho. Yelp photo by YueStudio Y.

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Tori paitan ramen. Yelp photo by Minh N.

Great news, ramen fans/fanatics/fiends: ~MENSHO TOKYO~ ramen is now open in the TenderNob (just next door to wine bar Resolute). Chef-owner Tomoharu Shono has six ramen shops in Tokyo (he opened his first in 2005), and this will be his first in the U.S. Each one has a different menu and theme, plus limited runs of dishes every month (he has come up with well over 400 different bowls, ranging from ramen to tsukemen, mazesoba, and aburasoba).

His San Francisco outpost will be focusing on authentic Japanese ramen, but will be using a combination of imported and local ingredients. The initial opening menu includes tori paitan ramen (available with chashu), organic ramen (shio or shoyu), and vegan tantanmen. Expect the menu to grow and change in coming days.

The full menu will eventually include many more kinds of ramen (tori paitan ramen, tonkotsu ramen, ebi miso ramen, organic ramen—shio or shoyu, vegan tantanmen, and white truffle shio ramen); tsukemen—a type of ramen when you dip the noodles into a concentrated broth (tori paitan gyokai tsukemen and spicy ebi miso tsukemen); and mazesoba—a soup-less style of mixed ramen (maze hitsuji and vegan mazesoba).

Shono is returning to Japan and will be back in SF in March to add to the menu (he has some of his Tokyo team in place here). Working with Shono on the launch is Abram Plaut, who eats at over 200 ramen shops every year in Tokyo. (Look for his upcoming app, Ramen Beast, which will be a guide to the best ramen shops in Tokyo, starting with the top 150.) Plaut will also be balancing his time between SF and Tokyo—he’ll be here the next three weeks and then returning to Japan for a month or so.

Note that space is limited (28 seats) and the lines are long, so be prepared for quite a wait while everyone tries to visit this exciting newcomer. There are also beers on draft and in bottle. Open Tue-Thu and Sun 5pm-12am, Fri-Sat 5pm-2am. 676 Geary St. at Leavenworth.