A highly-renowned ramen chain will be making its way to San Diego; Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai is a well-regarded practitioner of Kitakata-style ramen, one of the most popular types of ramen along with the famous styles that originated in Hakata and Sapporo. Founded in 1958 in Kitakata city in Japan’s Fukushima prefecture, the brand has grown to operate over 60 branches in Japan; in the U.S., Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai has outposts in Orange County as well as the Chicago area and New York City. Its specialty is a shoyu, or soy sauce, based soup made with pork that has a relatively light and clear appearance, but the shop also serves an Aburi miso ramen, green chili shio ramen, and mixed green vegetable ramen. Its distinctive noodles are flat, wide, and hand-crumpled for a chewy texture and feel and its known for its toro chashu, or marbled pork belly. The menu extends to include tsukemen, or dipping ramen, as well as gyoza, chicken karaage, and rice bowls as well as small appetizers.
A rep for the company told Eater that they hope to have the San Diego shop open by early next year; the exact location is yet unknown but a source indicates that it will be in the Kearny Mesa area.