After doing the farmer’s market pop-up thing for years, Richie Nakano is finally opening his long-awaited ramen shop tomorrow. The Hapa Ramen restaurant is located at 2293 Mission Street, in the former 99¢ Depot. As a long-time noodle advocate, I headed over to report from the front lines, armed with a fellow noodle-loving lady.
The opening menu features snacky small plates (ribs, a raw fish tartare, a Korean seafood pancake), steamed buns a la David Chang, and with three types of ramen. The restaurant’s namesake bowl, pictured above, is generously topped with pork slabs, nugs of fried chicken, a poached egg, and seasonal vegetables.
There’s also a full bar and cocktail menu, which includes a gin drink involving Hi-Chew tincture and Hawaiian Punch syrup (above, right) that tastes exactly like a Pixy Stix. The bourbon drink on the left contained banana, black sea salt, and cacao.
Above, two of my favorite things I ate: a savory pile of roasted baby carrots and radishes, and an adorable fried chicken-and-pickle steamed bun that, in the most flattering way possible, reminded me of the classic sandwich from my childhood favorite now-shunned fast food establishment.
Oh, and those in-progress booths we reported on awhile back cleaned up real nice:
[Booth photo by Erin Conger]
P.S. Visit Girls Love Noodles!