Following yesterday's news that local rice ball provider Onigilly wants to take over the world with rice balls ( a.k.a. onigiri), today owner Koji Kanematsu passes on the location and the above rendering of his first stand-alone Onigilly fast-casual restaurant in San Francisco. It is set to soft-launch on Kearny Street later this month with a "grand opening" coming in September.
Those who have visited Onigilly's existing food cart locations around town know the drill: each onigiri is made-to-order by Kanematsu himself. Fillings include California brown rice, various vegetarian or protein fillings, and sauces (Think miso tuna, teriyaki chicken, salmon, tofu, it goes on!).
Kanematsu explains that onigiri are eaten way more often than sushi in Japan— N.B. maybe everyone in town should ditch the sushi habit and just eat these from now on. Seriously though, this is just a happy tale of a budding entrepreneur, making his way through the La Cocina incubation program, slowly but surely graduating from street food cart to epic Anthony Bourdain moment, to permanent restaurant. Be sure to peruse the full gallery above for bonus pics of said Bourdain encounter and a beauty shot of a few rice balls that are hell-bent on world domination.
· All Onigilly Coverage [~ ESF ~]