October 4, 2016
Welcome to our new column, Bay Eats Japan, where we’ll alert you to newly and soon-to-be opened Japanese restaurants and bars in the Bay Area. As we’ll be listing new places, a mention is not necessarily a recommendation. Use this as a handy way to keep track of new spots you might want to try in the future.
Nomica, 2223 Market Street Sushi Ran in Sausalito has a new SF outpost. This Japanese drinking house in the Castro specializes in awamori spirits from Okinawa and modern Japanese cuisine developed by chef Hiroo Nagahara.
Bon, Nene, 2850 21st Street This French-style bistro in the Mission serves Japanese small plates (yaki onigiri, chicken karaage, gyoza), as well as traditional cafe offerings (granola, salads, etc.). Some menu items that peaked our interest include their take on Japanese breakfast and Sapporo beer on draft.
Hinata Sushi, 810 Van Ness (late October 2016) A sushi restaurant specializing in omakase (chef’s choice). Their website claims most of their fish will be flown in from Tokyo’s Tsujiki Fish Market and prepared by two experienced Bay Area sushi chefs who’ve spent time at Sushi Ran, Ijji, and Zushi Puzzle.
Hitachino Beer & Wagyu, 639 Post Street (Soon??) The much-anticipated – and much-delayed – restaurant operated by Kiuchi Brewery, which makes the famous Hitachino Nest Beer is opening sometime soon. As its name suggests, it’ll serve Hitachino beers, as well as Hitachino Wagyu Beef, along with other dishes.
Iza Ramen, 1155 Folsom Street (Fall 2016) Iza Ramen, a ramen-ya in Lower Haight, is set to open a second location in SOMA. The Folsom Street locale will feature more plates, including izakaya-style offerings and lunch service.
Ippudo, 18 Yerba Buena Lane (March 2017) Ramen-ya Ippudo known for its tonkotsu ramen and pork buns has two locations in New York (along with outposts in Japan, China, London, Sydney) and now it has its eyes set on the Bay Area. This downtown location will be pretty big – 4,700 square feet! – which hopefully means less waiting in line.
Kagawa-Ya Udon Noodle Company, 1455 Market Street (Early spring 2017) Finally, a non-ramen Japanese noodle house. Kagawa-Ya is all about udon. Found inside the Uber building, Kagawa-Ya will offer from dishes created by chef Sean Lim. Lim and his partner-wife, Katherine claim that their chefs will train for several weeks in Kagawa, Japan, birthplace of udon.
Nabe II, 2151 Lombard Street (Nov 2016) Inner Sunset hot pot spot Nabe will open a second locale in the Marina. As its name suggests, Nabe II will serve nabemono (stews and soups cooked at the table in a nabe) and some small plates like gyoza and Kurobata pork sausage.
Uji Time, 2575 Telegraph Avenue A popular sweet shop specializing in Japanese desserts, including soft serve, mochi, and taiyaki. Read our in-depth blog post with helpful tips on what to expect before you go.
Ippudo, 2011 Shattuck Avenue As stated above, Ippudo is making a major move in the Bay Area. For its Berkeley location, they’ll share the spot with Blue Bottle. And believe it or not, they’ve partnered with Panda Express to develop and expand their brand. I’m not saying they’re going to have orange chicken ramen, but wouldn’t that be the obvious choice here? I keed, I keed.
Shiba Ramen, 1438 Broadway (End of 2016) The Emeryville Public Market ramen-ya opens an Oakland location featuring their signature ramen, plus more offerings.
Yuzu Ramen and Broffee, 1298 65th Street What the heck is broffee, you wonder? It’s bone broth (or veggie broth) intended to be sipped, like coffee, in the morning. This new Emeryville ramen-ya will eventually serve broffee, but until then, you can try their broth in their Osaka-style ramen soups and other offerings at this fast-casual restaurant.
Periodic Table, 5959 Shellmound Street (Early 2017) The aforementioned Shiba Ramen will expand its footprint at the Emeryville Public Market with its own craft beer and sake bar. The name is a little headscratching, until perhaps, you find out that their blog is called Ramen Chemistry.
Kenzo, 1339 Pearl Street (November 16) Three-Michelin star chef Hiroyuki Kanda from Tokyo and Japanese mogul and owner of Kenzo Estate in Napa Kenzo Tsujimoto will head this 27-seat kaiseki and sushi restaurant.
Got tips for new Japanese restaurant and bar openings? Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.