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Itani Ramen Is Upping Oakland's Noodle Game

Hopscotch chef Kyle Itani takes a regional approach to ramen at his newest venture.


Although the Bay Area hasn’t been lacking in ramen for the past few years, a certain amount of excitement greeted the news last year that Kyle Itani would be wading into the broth with his own ramen venture, appropriately called Itani Ramen. Part of the reason was that the chef had earned an enthusiastic following for his first Oakland restaurant, Hopscotch, and part of it was the promise that he’d be bringing something new to the game. And now, after a five-month delay, he is.

Itani’s Uptown Oakland restaurant offers different regional styles of ramen that illustrate the considerable variation hidden in the deceptively simple Japanese noodle dish. The menu features four signature bowls, including a hearty southern-style ramen and a lighter northern style, as well as a rotating cast of more seasonal bowls that will represent different Japanese prefectures. Case in point is the opening menu’s Nanban-zuke ramen, a cold dish with pickled sardines that references the classic Japanese recipe for marinating fish in vinegar. It’s a hint of different—and delectable—things to come.

1736 Telegraph Ave. (at 18th St.), Oakland, 510-788-7489


Originally published in the June issue of San Francisco 

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