Enduring local ramen brand RakiRaki & Tsukemen, whose flagship location on Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa has been in operation for over a decade, is making its first foray into North County. The Japanese noodle shop opens Monday, April 24 in Rancho Penasquitos, making it the fourth restaurant in San Diego for RakiRaki owner and executive chef Junya Watanabe.
Operating daily from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Plaza Rancho Penasquitos, the modern restaurant is decorated with oversized Japanese lanterns and features a ramen bar where diners can see the kitchen cooking up bowls of tonkotsu pork and chicken ramen and specialties like vegetarian miso, curry, or oxtail ramen. There’s also tsukemen, or dipping ramen, plus appetizers like takoyaki and gyoza and other bites ranging from ramen burgers to sushi rolls. RakiRaki also pours Japanese beer and sake.
Over the years, Watanabe has branched out with several spinoffs focusing on different types of Japanese cuisine, from vegan sushi from the Yasai to the more traditional Matsuoka Sushi and JCK Chicken, which does Tokyo-style karaage, with elements of each menu available at his restaurants in Kearny Mesa, Mira Mesa, and Little Italy. A rep for the chef tells Eater that he’s still planning to open more locations for all of his brands, including RakiRaki.