A collaboration between chefs Ken Tominaga and Michael Mina, THE RAMEN BAR is a fast casual concept which blends rich California cooking philosophy with Japanese technique and ingredients to create a new variation on Japanese ramen with West Coast style, as well as a selection of market-fresh salads, noodle dishes, snacks and sandwiches. With a take-out and dine in option, this San Francisco Financial District hotspot offers the convenience to order ahead, order for office deliveries for the next big meeting, or the perfect spot to happy hour with sapporos, sakes and snacks.
THE RAMEN BAR features signature ramen bowls from Ken Tominaga, updated with a decidedly California bent featuring fresh noodles, broths, proteins, and an freshly-grown vegetables and greens. A nod to yoshoku cuisine – a Japanese style of Western-influenced cooking where Western dishes are given a Japanese twist – the menu has expanded to offer craveworthy items like the WAGYU BURGER with caramelized onion, mushroom and benishoga (pickled ginger) and the CRISPY TOGARASHI CHICKEN SANDWICH featuring brined chicken, dredged in a togarashi breading, twice fried to ultimate crispiness and served with sriracha honey and pickles. Bigeye Tuna, Chicken Avocado and Beef Shogayaki rice bowls offer the option of white or brown rice, while salads like the Spinach, Coastal Kale, and Gem Lettuce offer a choice of proteins including pork belly, spicy tofu, sesame salmon or grilled chicken. Noodle dishes include various noodle types like an udon served with spicy miso and chicken meatball. A selection of snacks and desserts round out the menu.
THE RAMEN BAR, designed by BISHOP PASS, was inspired by elements of water – the most important ingredient in preparation of ramen. THE RAMEN BAR interior evokes the feel of a Japanese fishing village and traditional Japanese boating docks using reclaimed wood, distressed shipping sails and rope to complete the unique concept aesthetic. The restaurant features beautifully crafted oak wood tables, Douglas fir shelving, and vintage metal-framed chairs with wood seats.
For events please contact Jin Park at email@example.com or 415.625.5460.
KEN TOMINAGA, CHEF AND PARTNER
THE RAMEN BAR
Tokyo native and revered chef and owner Ken Tominaga of Hana Japanese Restaurant in Sonoma County has established himself as one of the Bay Area’s leading authorities on Japanese cuisine. Tominaga’s evolving menu is based on the core principles of using only the highest quality, freshest fish and incorporating the best local produce.
While growing up in Japan, Tominaga’s parents fully immersed him in the city’s vibrant dining scene. He started his apprenticeship at an early age and quickly fell in love with the culinary world. Throughout high school, he worked his way up in restaurants, first as a dishwasher, then as a prep cook, often catching a few hours sleep before returning to class.
After graduation, Tominaga moved to California to join his family’s business, an optics company in Santa Rosa. The local restaurants and the influence of French, Italian, and Chinese cuisine began to steer his culinary point of view. When his family sold their business, he seized the opportunity to return to his first love, cooking, and he headed to Tokyo to attend the Akasaka Cooking School. By day, he learned to cook everything from tempura to udon. By night, he frequented his favorite sushi restaurants, studying the work of the sushi masters he’d known since he was a boy. Coaxing them to reveal recipes and tips, Ken would then adapt their secrets to reflect his personal style, while still representing authentic Japanese tradition.
Tominaga opened Hana Japanese Restaurant in 1990, developing a devoted, cult following among fellow chefs and the local restaurant industry. Media accolades followed, and the San Francisco Chronicle called it “one of the best restaurants in all of Sonoma County.” Tominaga saw the opening of Hana in Rohnert Park as a continuation of his learning process, and he works every day to refine his cuisine. It is that same attention to detail that Ken brings to PABU, a partnership with celebrated chef and founder of Mina Group, Michael Mina.
Mina and Tominaga met 10 years ago when Mina visited Hana on the recommendation of one of his chefs. Mina fell in love with Ken’s inventive omakase menu, and it was not long before Mina and his family became regulars at Hana. The two chefs developed a friendship and a mutual admiration for one another’s craft, and they began plans to collaborate on a Japanese concept. When the coveted 101 California Street location became available, the partners jumped on it. Mina is excited to help showcase Ken’s talents with PABU and The Ramen Bar, the latter being a fast casual concept.
The Ramen Bar will spotlight Tokyo-style inspired recipes with signature ramen bowls prepared with fresh noodles, a choice of homemade broths, proteins and an abundance of freshly grown vegetables and greens. Tominaga will be joined in the kitchen with Culinary Manager Paul Tominaga to create his unique ramen experience.
“In Japan, ramen is culture. It is a style of Japanese cuisine built around community and made with love. Nearly every region in Japan has its own variation and style. My ramen is Tokyo-style, and I couldn’t be more excited to share these flavors, and my recipes, with San Francisco,” says Tominaga.
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