Ramen lovers, I need your attention. Ippudo Ramen, which has two locations in New York and two more on the way, in addition to dozens in Japan and other countries, is set to open its first West Coast location on Friday in Berkeley. As Eater explains in this thorough preview, Ippudo specializes in Hakata tonkatsu-style ramen, as well sticky chicken wings, pork belly buns, and some other items, and "noodles are made onsite in a special temperature-controlled noodle room." Also, their noodlemaster insists on letting all noodles rest overnight.
Their ramen is also extremely photogenic, as you can see in the photo above and in some others shot by Eater.
Varieties include shiromaru (classic tonkotsu pork broth), akamaru (richer), karaku (spicy), and shoyu (dashi/ soy sauce-based), and range in price from $13 to $16. They also add things in like garlic oil, clarified lard, and minced pork back fat for flavor, and you have the option of other additions like soft egg, mushrooms, bean sprouts, etc.
And though they don't take reservations, as Gothamist discovered with one New York location a few years back, they would accommodate parties if you showed up in person in the afternoon, before prime time, and put your name in and desired arrival time. We can't guarantee the same policy will work in Berkeley, but you can try.
As Radio Alice reported earlier, a San Francisco location is also due to open this year, in the Yerba Buena area. So, get excited.
Ippudo Berkeley - 2015 Shattuck Avenue - Open Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday to Saturday 11 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.