It’s official! Austin’s favorite Japanese soul food restaurant — Ramen Tatsu-ya — is headed to Houston with a new location at 1722 California Street. The buzz over a possible H-Town move began swirling in March after Ramen Tatsu-ya owner and co-executive chef Tatsu Aikawa‘s company, I Own This Dirt, LLC., secured a plot of land in Montrose.
Now, alongside partner and co-executive chef Takuya Matsumoto, the duo will unveil its first restaurant outside of Austin this winter.
So what can Houstonians expect from two former DJs who took the Austin food scene by storm in 2012? For starters, we’re bracing for the McCray & Co-designed restaurant’s famed 60-hour ramen broth, which serves as the base for its signature Tonkotsu Original — creamy, thick pork bone broth coats fresh noodles from L.A.-based noodle maker Keisuke-san (which are shipped-in weekly), alongside a mix of chasu, ajitama, wood ear mushrooms, and scallions.
Ramen renditions such as Tonkotsu Sho-Yu, Mi-So-Not, and the Mi-So-Hot, which all utilize the signature pork bone broth, grace the menu; alongside the Ol Skool crafted with chicken shoyu broth, chashu, ajitama, menma, scallion, white onion, and nori; and the veggie ramen made with soy and mushroom broth, tofu, brussels sprouts, corn, menma, woodear mushroom, and greens.
Customers can also gorge on small Japanese plates including pork gyoza, edamame, the Munchie katsu slider (a panko beef patty on a Hawaiian roll, served with katsu sauce), sweet and sour yodas (brussels sprouts topped with apricot vinegar and curry spice), and the Hush Piggies (crispy chashu rillete, katsu sauce, bonito, and pickled ginger).
Similar to most high-profile Austin imports, long lines are almost certain. But when the doors officially open, we’ll be ready and willing to follow the brand’s three simple rules: Chopsticks only. Slurp loudly and shamelessly. Never share your ramen.