Ken Ken Ramen has closed due to “a variety of personal, financial, and professional reasons,” according to a note in the window of the restaurant at 3378 18th Street (between Mission and South Van Ness). Its last day for ramen, mostly in the southern Hakata style, was March 31.
Ken Ken was run by chef Taka Hori, and aside from its food — which put it on Eater SF’s list of Essential Ramen Restaurants — will be missed for its unique interior, a welcoming space covered in paper lanterns. It also had one of the city’s better bathrooms, covered in faux jungle plants.
But when a ramen door closes, a ramen window opens: According to a liquor license transfer, a new business, Ramenwell, will take over the space. That’s owned by Harold Jurado, a Chicago chef now living in San Francisco and working at Bon Appétit Management Company.
Chicago diners might recognize Jurado, whose family ran a suburban Filipino restaurant, as the chef/owner of now closed Chizakaya. He was the opening chef at Jellyfish and also led the kitchen for a time at Yusho. Eater SF awaits further details on his plans for the 18th Street space, so stay tuned.