By Elena Kadvany
Ippudo ramen to arrive in Cupertino this FridayUploaded: Feb 11, 2020
Ramen chain Ippudo's first Peninsula location is officially opening this Friday, Feb. 14, in Cupertino. It reflects the Japanese company's "heavy focus" on expansion on the West Coast.
The ramen restaurant is located at Main St. Cupertino (19540 Vallco Parkway), a mixed-use development with restaurants, retail and housing.
Shigemi Kawahara opened the original 10-seat Ippudo in Fukuoka, Japan in 1985, according to the company, which now operates more than 200 locations. Ippudo expanded to California for the first time in 2017 with a much-anticipated Berkeley location, then in San Francisco the following year.
"Following the openings of our Berkeley and San Francisco locations, a Silicon Valley restaurant made sense," said Derek Takeda, Ippudo's director of operations.
Photo courtesy I&P Runway.
The 64-seat Ippudo Cupertino will serve the same ramen available at other locations, plus a miso tonkotsu ramen that's currently only available in Berkeley. Ippudo serves three kinds of tonkotsu ramen: the "Shiromaru classic" with dashi, pork belly chashu, sesame kikurage mushrooms, menma, pickled ginger and scallions; the "akamaru modern" topped with miso paste; and a spicy version.
Ippudo kitchens cook the pork broth for 18 hours and then on lower heat for another full day. Ippudo serves two noodles of different thickness and uses the thinner noodles for its the akamaru ramen.
There are also non-pork, gluten-free, and vegetarian and vegan options on the menu. The Cupertino outpost will serve new appetizers recently debuted at Ippudo's new West Hollywood location, including takoyaki and boiled gyoza.
For drinks, there's beer, wine, sake and shoju cocktails.
Photo courtesy f8 media.
Large, knotted white and red ropes (pictured above) that hang over communal seating in the center of the restaurant are meant to signify "connections between people and the idea that we are all fated to meet," Takeda said. "As a restaurant, Ippudo hopes to connect people regardless of their differences. The ropes are randomly hung at different lengths and heights work to represent that."
Asked whether Ippudo will open more locations in the Bay Area, Takeda said that "exact plans are still in the works" but that the company has put a "heavy focus on the West Coast."
Ippudo plans to open 600 locations worldwide by 2025.
Ippudo Cupertino's hours will be Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.