HiroNori Craft Ramen, a Japanese noodle shop that got its start in Irvine in 2017 and recently opened a second branch in Long Beach, is coming to Hillcrest. The popular eatery’s first San Diego location will open this December on Fifth Avenue; Location Matters represented the landlord in the lease of the 1,101-square-foot space.
Co-founder Hiromichi Igarashi moved to U.S. more than a decade ago from his native Japan where he worked as a ramen chef. At the time of his arrival, Igarashi says that there wasn’t much in the way traditional ramen in Southern California, and so he created HiroNori to showcase classic Japanese techniques as well as some American influences. The menu includes tonkotsu ramen made with a pork broth that’s simmered all day until milky and rich and topped with pork chashu, green onion, spinach, seaweed, and bean sprouts, a soy-based shoyu ramen, and a vegan version featuring a sesame miso broth with broccolini, tofu, corn, bean sprouts, soy meat, baby kale, and chili oil. The eatery has a factory in Los Angeles that make two types of noodles for its own stores as well as other ramen shops.
Other dishes include rice bowls topped with pork, chicken, spicy tuna, and salmon poke and appetizers ranging from cucumber crab salad to pork buns and crispy garlic-soy chicken thighs. Igarashi tells Eater that he’s hoping to eventually serve beer and wine. He says that he has ideas for other eateries that he may open in the San Diego area along with more HiroNori locations.