With Biryani House’s sudden closure in 2014 and Mandarin Garden’s devastating fire in late 2015, the corner of Shattuck and University avenues might seem a less-than-ideal site to post up shop. But Ippudo NY, a burgeoning ramen brasserie from New York, is not about to let some bad history stop it from becoming the future of Berkeley ramen.
The lease has been signed and plans are already underway at 2011 Shattuck Ave., where Ippudo is soon to move in with Oakland-based Blue Bottle Coffee.
Ippudo is a worldwide franchise with locations in Asia, Australia, Europe and, of course, Manhattan. There are already two established sites in New York’s East Village and Midtown, which are both perpetually filled with customers. Each boasts unique interiors and aesthetics, and each has become exponentially popular within the last few years. Along with the incoming Halal Guys, Berkeley can look forward to hosting another East Coast and global sensation. And, with the addition of Ippudo, the East Bay will establish itself more intimately into the international scene of cosmopolitan eateries.
What makes Ippudo especially fresh is that, despite already featuring a particularly modern ambiance, each individual chef is given complete creative control over their own dishes. Ramen bowls might have different flavors depending on how much and what ingredients each chef decides to include. Ippudo’s philosophy emphasizes creativity and individuality, making it a practically perfect fit for the people of Berkeley.
If Ippudo brings everything its reputation promises, ramen connoisseurs can look forward to visiting what may soon be Shattuck’s spot for a modern take on a classic dish. And every college student knows that ramen never gets old, anyway.