Fresh from Tokyo, Tsuta - the first ramen restaurant in the world to receive a star rating from Michelin - has opened at Metreon, San Francisco’s shopping, dining and entertainment center.
Led by Chef/owner Yuki Onishi, Tsuta’s signature dishes will be on the menu, and competition is fierce as Onishi will begin by preparing only 300 ramen bowls for each day’s service. That’s twice what his Tokyo shop serves in its nine-seat restaurant where ramen enthusiasts and other foodies line up early in the morning to make sure they get a bowl.
“America’s ramen obsession has been escalating around the country, especially in the San Francisco area,” said Jeremiah Gregory, general manager of Metreon. “We’re thrilled Chef Onishi selected Metreon to introduce Tsuta’s to the U.S. and excited to bring the world’s first Michelin-starred ramen restaurant to our customers and the Bay Area.”
Tsuta’s ramen choices include shoyu soba, made with black truffle oil; a bowl featuring a blend of chicken and seafood stock, with white truffle oil; and a miso iteration with thick noodles. Side dishes range from aburi niku (torched cubes of pork shoulder) and yaki gyoza (pan-fried dumplings) to tori karaage (fried chicken thighs). The restaurant’s whole-grain ramen noodles are made in-house daily, and all of the Michelin-starred dishes will be on the Metreon menu with prices starting at $12 per bowl. Beverage selections include sodas and teas.
A Michelin rating is notoriously difficult to earn and considered a hallmark of fine dining by the world’s top chefs as well as restaurant patrons around the globe. Tsuta’s opening at Metreon was one of the most anticipated of the season, especially as the Bay Area has become a hotbed for Japanese ramen businesses.
Chef Onishi apprenticed with his father, also a ramen chef, after graduating from high school. Onishi took time away to travel and soon grew to appreciate Japan’s umami-rich dishes, particularly those that incorporate dashi, or Japanese soup stock. After returning to his father’s ramen shop, he opened Tsuta in Tokyo in 2012. The shop is famously dedicated to premium ingredients and a blend of three separate chicken, clam and fish broths that create Chef Onishi’s signature shoyu broth. Onishi added two locations in Singapore in 2016, as well as shops in Hong Kong, the Philippines and Taiwan.
Tsuta is 2,400-square feet and has approximately 50 seats. Restaurant hours are 5 p.m. - 10 pm; last orders must be placed by 9:30 p.m. For more information, visit Tsuta on Facebook at Facebook.com/TsutaUS/.