Well, SF, Berkeley may have got their Ippudo ramen house first, but you finally get your very own. IPPUDO, the famed ramen restaurant most of us West Coasters could previously only indulge in while in New York, is coming to SF. (The chain was started by Ramen King Shigemi Kawahara in 1985, with just a 10-seat ramen house—it now has more than 160 restaurants worldwide.) The official opening is Sunday January 28th, but in the meantime, they are hosting soft opening hours and a limited menu. They just finished the lunch soft opening, and now you can come by Jan. 25th-27th (dinner only, 5pm-10pm).
The 86-seat location is on Yerba Buena Lane and is considered their “first full ramen fine dining experience on the West Coast,” which means it features an expanded menu of Hakata tonkotsu (pork) ramen with an 18-hour broth and handmade noodles (there are also non-pork, gluten-free, and vegetarian and vegan ramen options, and you can choose classic to spicy, plus toppings, and desired noodle texture too). There will be izakaya-style dishes—including steamed buns (pork, chicken, vegetable) and Goma Q (cucumbers seasoned with their house original sesame oil sauce)—as well as wine, beer, Japanese cocktails, aperitifs, and premium sake.
It has an eye-catching look, with a sake bar, a Hiragana alphabet wall and a large Chochin lantern. Hours will be Mon-Fri 11am-3pm and dinner 5pm-11pm, Sat-Sun 10am-10pm. 18 Yerba Buena Lane at Market.
Akamaru tamago ramen at Ippudo. Photo: Barron Lee.