If what you’ve been missing most during the pandemic is deeply rich broth and handmade noodles milled from fresh California wheat, you’re in luck. Ura Mensho is a “secret” pop-up from cult-favorite Mensho Tokyo SF, and it’s open now.
According to chef-owner Tomoharu Shono, San Francisco’s city- and county-level move to allow indoor dining at 50 percent capacity was all the encouragement he needed to start the process of a full reopening. While the pop-up is essentially only moving Mensho a step closer to its own reopening, it is certainly a step in the right direction. Ura Mensho will start out serving 30 bowls per day beginning at 6 p.m.
For now, fans of the cult-favorite Tokyo-based ramen shop can re-form the line that snaked through the Tenderloin in pre-pandemic times in order to snag a limited edition bowl of Toripaitan Mashi Mashi (mashi mashi translates to “a mountain of toppings”). It’s a bowl of creamy chicken broth with shoyu tare, chicken, oil, and pork back fat, noodles made from California wheat, and topped with pork belly chashu, bean sprouts, kale, cabbage and green onions. Vegan ramen and mazesoba (brothless noodles) will return in the next few weeks, too.
As San Francisco’s indoor dining machinery creaks back to life, it’s almost a relief to consider standing in line for one of the city’s uber popular food items — socially distanced and masked, of course. Bust out those outdoor pants and comfortable shoes now and stay close for more details on when its petite dining room will be open, though Shono promises it will be “soon.”