After first announcing its expansion to the Crown Point neighborhood of Pacific Beach all the way back in 2018, Wokou Ramen & Yakitori will at last open on Ingraham Street this Saturday, February 1. In the time since, the eatery has been folded under a new hospitality umbrella, Empress Investments; founder and managing partner Jimmy Langley also operates California Native in the Del Mar Highlands Town Center and Madero’s inside The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch. COO Joey Pena is part of the original team that opened the first Wokou in Carmel Valley in 2016.
The 2,800-square-foot Crown Point location introduces an extended menu, revamped by the group’s executive chef Chris Carriker, who recently won an episode of Food Network’s ‘Chopped’ and cooked at International Smoke, L’Auberge Del Mar, and Avant.
Carriker’s additions include a wagyu katsu sando and a ‘blackout’ ramen made with squid ink noodles and a charcoal and squid ink broth; he also reworked Wokou’s tonkotsu soup base, which is made fresh daily and simmers for nearly 20 hours. The Pacific Beach restaurant has alsoseriously upped its sake selection, with a large array of sake styles and creative sake cocktails that incorporate local beer or spirit-infused sake.