Will 2019 be the year of ramen for Silicon Valley?

Ippudo is coming to the Peninsula.

The popular Japanese ramen chain is opening its newest location this fall at Main St. Cupertino, a mixed-use development with restaurants, retail and housing. Ippudo will be located at 19540 Vallco Parkway, Suite 130.

Shigemi Kawahara opened the original Ippudo in Fukuoka, Japan, in 1985, according to the company’s website. A New York City outpost marked the company’s first foray into the U.S. in 2008.

Ippudo opened its first West Coast restaurant in Berkeley in 2017 to much excitement and long lines. A San Francisco outpost followed the next year. Ippudo also opened an outpost of its quick-service ramen spin-off, Kuro-Obi, at Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo last year.

Clockwise from top left: Ippudo’s classic Shiromaru ramen with Tonkotsu pork broth;
deep fried tofu and eggplant served in Bonito Dashi; the Miso Tonkotsu bowl; and the new Wasabi Tonkotsu ramen bowl, topped with wasabi oil. (Images via Ippudo’s Instagram)

Ippudo serves three kinds of tonkotsu ramen: the “Shiromaru classic” with dashi, thin noodles, pork belly chashu, sesame kikurage mushrooms, menma, pickled ginger and scallions; the “Akamaru modern,” a “more bold translation of the original pork broth” topped with miso paste; and a spicy version. The San Francisco menu also includes Shoyu ramen, vegetarian ramen and a special wasabi ramen.

Ippudo uses a “double maturation process” to make its pork broth, according to the company. The broth is cooked for 18 hours and then on lower heat for another full day. The restaurant also serves appetizers, salads, beer, wine and sake.

Japanese-born ramen chains have been flocking to the Bay Area in droves recently: Ramen Nagi in Palo Alto and Santa Clara, Taishoken in San Mateo and Mensho Tokyo in San Francisco, with more on the way. Afuri Ramen and Dumpling is opening locations in Cupertino and Mountain View later this year.

Ippudo is currently hiring for the Cupertino location, which is set to open in September.

Additional eats: (clockwise from top left) Matcha Mille Crepe (currently only out of the Santa Monica location…but we’re optimistic); Ippudo’s Tokyo Highball alongside Yakiniku Buns; Ebi Katsu; and lotsa noodles. (Images via Ippudo’s Instagram)

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Elena Kadvany

A writer with a passion for investigative reporting, telling untold stories and public-service journalism, I have built my career covering education and restaurants in the Bay Area. My blog and biweekly newsletter, Peninsula Foodist, is the go-to source for restaurant news in Silicon Valley. My work has been published in The Guardian, Eater, Bon Appetit’s Healthyish, SF Weekly and The Six Fifty.

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