Ramen fans take note, the highly anticipated Austin import Ramen Tatsu-Ya opens today, February 20, at 1722 California. This is the noodle hub’s third location, and the first outside of Austin.
Owners and executive chefs Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya “Tako” Matsumoto released a statement, noting that “the number of great ramen shops in the city have really built Houston’s ramen scene into something special and we knew this was a community we wanted to be a part of.” Aikawa worked at Michelin-starred L.A. restaurant Urasawa, before opening the flagship Ramen Tatsu-Ya with Matsumoto in 2012. A second location followed in 2015. Both of the chefs happen to be hip-hop DJs as well.
The menu offers tonkotsu and vegetarian ramens, and signature appetizers including Sweet & Sour Yodas (brussels sprouts), Munchie Katsu sliders (panko-breaded beef patties on a Hawaiian-style bun with katsu sauce) and more.
McCray & Co., the design studio that created both Austin locations of Ramen Tatsu-Ya, has tried to capture the same vibe for the Houston outpost. The restaurant is described in a press release as “traditional Japanese ramen meets DJ culture," which conjures visions of DJ Pauly D taking time out of his daily tanning regimen to share #sponsored authentic noods with his 2 million Instagram followers, but one can only pray that will be the case.
Expect vaulted ceilings with huge windows, custom furniture, red glass tile work and murals by Japanese street artist ESOW, and local street artists led by Briks, and a custom “Lucky Cat” sculpture by Blue Genie Art Industries.
Ramen Tatsu-Ya is among numerous recent Austin restaurant expansions, or what Eater Houston is calling a takeover, including half a dozen upcoming openings all slated for spring 2017: Burger spot Hopdoddy, controversial chef Paul Qui's Montrose eatery Aqui, Kerbey Lane Cafe, Tacodeli, gelato spot Dolce Neve.
1722 California, ramen-tatsuya.com.
Open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.