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RakiRaki Ramen Among New Liberty Public Market Tenants

Roma Express is another fresh addition to the food lineup

Courtesy photo

RakiRaki Ramen, which runs busy restaurants in Kearny Mesa and Little Italy, is bringing a quick-service version of its ramen shop into Liberty Public Market. Modeled after the stand-up ramen bars that are popular in Japan, the eatery will serve an abridged menu of signature ramen bowls and other bites by RakiRaki chef/owner Junya Watanabe and selections from his casual poke shop Pokirrito.

The year-old Liberty Station food hall is also adding an offshoot of Roma Urban Market, a large-scale marketplace and eatery that’s currently in the works in Little Italy. The family-owned company, which has existing stores in Pasadena and Escondido, will launch Roma Express in Liberty Public Market. Its grab-and-go offerings will focus on different flavors of two Sicilian street foods — savory fried rice balls called arancini and sweet ricotta-filled cannoli pastries — plus a selection of housemade Italian sodas.

RakiRaki Ramen and Roma Express will take over the vendor spaces formerly held by Fully Loaded Juice and Garden Fresh; Roma Express is scheduled to debut later this month and RakiRaki will open in late July.

The two eateries join recently-announced additions that will replace Pi Bar and Grape Smuggler Bar. Doughballs, a fast-casual pizza brand that has a drive-thru pizzeria planned for Pacific Beach, will offer a quick-service pizza menu that include a build-your-own option while Crackheads will serve breakfast all day, ranging from egg-based breakfast sandwiches to a DIY cereal bar and a Pop Tart ice cream station. Both eateries, by James Markham of JM Concepts (Rolled Up, Project Pie), are slated for launch in late July.

And we have updates on two more food options that were announced earlier this year but are now coming online. Opening in late June is Saganaki from GBOD Hospitality Group, the owners of Mezé Greek Fusion restaurant in the Gaslamp. Its namesake dish, fried and flambéed cheese, will be the focus and offered in both sweet and savory versions alongside Mediterranean-style wraps and Greek yogurt bowls. Due in early July is Smoothie Rider, a first storefront for a local food truck that sources produce from Southern Californian farms for its organic smoothies, bowls and parfaits.