The Tenderloin’s most unlikely opening has arrived. Onsen, a chic Japanese bathhouse, opens to the public tomorrow, November 11 with a full-blown, 3,200-square-foot Japanese bathhouse with a soaking pool and treatment rooms, as well as a restaurant and tearoom with seasonal Japanese food, a sake and craft beer program, and tea service.
Former Oro and Ame chef George Meza designed the menu — which you can see in full below — that’s full of seasonally-driven, Japanese-inspired fare. The menu has a daily-changing sashimi, maitake dumplings, udon noodles, matcha soft serve, various skewers, and other small plates.
There’s also a full, refined tea service, with teas from Taiwan, China, and Japan, including straightforward and medicinal varieties, plus single-herb tisanes, kombucha, and infused honey and herbs. The alcohol list focuses mainly on Japanese sakes (with three on tap), as well as a limited amount of beer and wine.
As for the bathhouse part, owners (and husband and wife) Sunny Simmons and Caroline Smith created a tranquil space (that’s in a former auto-body shop) with six treatment rooms, an eight-person hot soaking pool, and a communal bathing area that includes a dry sauna, steam room, and an artful cold plunge shower installation.
Onsen is open Wednesday Monday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (until 1 a.m. on Saturdays). The restaurant is currently serving dinner only, but lunch will be added in December.