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San Francisco's Marufuku bringing its popular ramen to Redwood City

Uploaded: Jun 9, 2020
Marufuku Ramen, whose 20-hour tonkotsu ramen regularly drew long lines in San Francisco pre-pandemic, is opening a new location in downtown Redwood City.

Marufuku is headed to 865 Middlefield Road, where a large close-up photo of a bowl of ramen is papered over the windows. The space was last occupied by Green Leaf Asian Bistro & Cafe.

This will be owner Eiichi Mochizuki's fourth Marufuku location. The company is expanding rapidly with franchised locations planned in Southern California and Texas, said Carlos Herrador, Marufuku's executive vice president of franchise operations.

A rendering of Marufuku's forthcoming Redwood City location. Photo courtesy Marufuku Ramen.

Marufuku is known for hakata, a regional style of ramen — a rich pork broth served with thinner than typical noodles. Marufuku's hakata ramen is topped with chashu pork belly, a seasoned soft boiled egg, green onions, kikurage mushrooms and bean sprouts. The menu also includes chicken paitan and vegetable ramens, rice bowls and sides like karaage and fried shishito peppers.

Marufuku's popular hakata-style tonkotsu ramen. Photo via Marufuku Ramen Facebook.

Herrador said the Redwood City location was slated to open in July but progress has stalled with all city permits and inspections on pause during the coronavirus shutdown. They're now aiming for a September opening.

He's hopeful indoor dining will be allowed by then. The company has been discussing how to space out tables inside and use an outdoor patio to ensure safety.

"We're hoping the sales will be back, people will feel more comfortable and things will have gotten better by then," he said. "We want people to feel safe."

Marufuku isn't Mochizuki's first restaurant. He opened Shabuway, a Japanese-style hot pot restaurant, in San Mateo with Koji Kikura in 2004, according to Shabuway's website. They went on to open two more locations in Mountain View and San Jose. (All Shabuways remain closed until further notice.)

Marufuku's San Francisco and Oakland locations remain open for takeout and delivery only at this time.

Herrador said Mochizuki's goal is to open more Marufuku locations throughout the Bay Area.

"The Bay Area is very important market for ramen," he said. "People love it."
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 +   4 people like this
Posted by Chris, a resident of College Terrace,
on Jun 10, 2020 at 1:48 pm

I respect them in opening a new restaurant in the environment and wish them continued success. One has to have huge marufuku gonads to do this! Will enjoy supporting them when they open.

 +   6 people like this
Posted by NoodleMan, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jun 10, 2020 at 2:26 pm

Is there a noticeable difference between going to a ramen restaurant VS a 25 cent package of Top Ramen & adding various things like tofu, green onions, chicken/beef/pork etc.?

I could not imagine spending more than $5.00 for a bowl of restaurant prepared ramen unless I was in Japan.

Spending more than $12.00 for a plate of spaghetti is also questionable as anyone (including a child) can make certain pasta dishes.

 +   2 people like this
Posted by AGarcia, a resident of another community,
on Jun 11, 2020 at 2:04 am

Nice, can't wait to try this place once it opens.

 +   11 people like this
Posted by @NoodleMan, a resident of another community,
on Jun 11, 2020 at 9:48 am

Your first question implies you've never tried real ramen. (And the same comment -- maybe also from you? -- has greeted other ramen-house news on this blog). You might someday want to try it, and understand at long last. Then again, these places can get crowded, so it may be in my own interest to assure you that your fantasy notion is valid and you shouldn't bother.

Your second question just continues the long tradition of couldn't-be-worth-it negativity by people opining on this website about restaurants they haven't tried and apparently never will.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Bean, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 11, 2020 at 5:00 pm

Excited to see this, but also sad that Green Leaf is gone. Green Lead was one of my favorite lunchtime options"their pork belly bowl was incredible, and they also made a great Bahn Mi.

But I also love ramen, so I'm sure I will survive. :)

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by NoodleMan, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jun 16, 2020 at 9:28 am

QUOTE: "Your first question implies you've never tried real ramen."

^ I've been to Japan and have enjoyed a bowl of udon at ballgames (as popular at Japanese baseball parks as hot dogs are at American MLB parks) and inexpensive locally prepared ramen at smaller diners in rural Japan.

Ramen prepared in AMERICA is oftentimes overpriced (for what it is) as a diner mentality for perceived 'exotica' is generally a sign of ignorance.

Not surprisingly, a plate of spaghetti bolognese served in an Italian-themed restaurant in Japan can be overpriced as well.

And as aforementioned, to pay more than $12.00 for a plate of basic spaghetti at an American restaurant is questionable (and perhaps a sign of ignorance as well).

Basic rule of thumb...if something can be EASILY prepared at home, to overpay for a menu item along the same lines is both a sign of ignorance and laziness.

 +   3 people like this
Posted by JCH, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Jun 16, 2020 at 12:38 pm

Neither a good Ramen nor a true Bolognese are 'easy' to make. A great Ramen broth can take hours or days to make. Many places also make their own noodles etc...

A real bolognese also needs to cook for a 3 - 4 hours. Not complicated, but not an everyday thing.

While Mr. Noodleman may have visited Japan and eaten udon (not ramen) at the ballpark, which is like judging American Cuisine based on ballpark food?!?

He has also failed to appreciate the time, effort and heart that goes into every bowl at these restaurants - even the one's here in America.

Check out Ivan's story about running a Ramen Restaurant in Japan Web Link

I can't wait to try the new place!

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