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SF Ippudo Is Ready to Open the Ramen Floodgates

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The mega-popular chain arrives January 28

Patricia Chang

Frenzy-inducing ramen chain Ippudo is ready to open its eagerly-awaited SF location, announcing soft opening hours that start this weekend and a grand opening scheduled for January 28. The new home of Ippudo’s famous 18-hour tonkotsu broth is at 18 Yerba Buena Lane just off Market Street. First up is a limited, lunch-only menu served from January 20th to 23rd, then a limited dinner-only menu from the 25th to the 27th.

Ippudo announced its entry into the San Francisco ramen scene in 2016, and the new restuarant is the second on the West Coast: Ippudo’s Berkeley branch opened in July, a smaller offering with fewer seats and a slimmer menu.

The new SF Ippudo, with 86 sure-to-be-hot seats, will offer the brand’s established menu. That’s centered on tonkotsu pork broth ramen, served shiromaru (classic), akamaru (richer, with spicy miso paste), karaka (spicy), and shoyu (soy sauce-based with dashi). Noodles are made on-site and served according to diners’ preferences, from soft to very firm. Other izakaya-style menu items include steamed buns and Goma Q cucumbers seasoned with sesame oil. The restaurant will also feature a large sake bar and serve beer, wine, and cocktails.

Founded in Japan in 1985 by TV “Ramen King” Shigemi Kawahara, Ippudo has since expanded to more than 160 restaurant locations, most recently proliferating in partnership with Panda Restaurant Group of the Panda Express mega-chain. The first US Ippudo restaurant launched in 2008 in New York. In terms of size, the new San Francisco restaurant is one of the group’s largest offerings yet.