Last year, Kevin Chen and Judy Chen (no relation) opened up Kaiju Eats, a funky izakaya in the Richmond. Now, following an ownership shuffle at Kaiju, the team has opened an even smaller restaurant in the Inner Richmond called Hawker Eats.
At the new location, Kevin has crafted a lengthy menu with a focus on what he calls "monster" ramen. "I was getting tired of generic prepared ramen taking over San Francisco," said Kevin "I love ramen, and ramen needs to be made bowl for bowl." Hawker already has a signature bowl, the $19 dollar "Ebirah." A nod to one of Godzilla's deep sea enemies, the bowl includes a whole lobster tail, scallops, mussels, and a robust curry broth. Other menu highlights include beef tongue skewers, seafood curry, and a coconut-fried soft shelled crab. There's no booze just yet, but a roasted corn tea is served to every diner.
Judy, who manages the front of the house, has adorned the formerly nondescript Chinese restaurant space with her own quirky artwork, decorated the walls with the leftover Chinese cooking materials, like a Christmas wreath made from dumpling steamer; she also draws every menu by hand. "I designed everything and Kevin built it. We are doing everything ourselves," said Judy. That is somewhat of an understatement, given that the restaurant has a very small staff (Judy and Kevin). "Please be patient, it is just us two!" said Kevin. On that note, the current business hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., however be forewarned: if they run out of product they might close early, so call ahead.