Itani Ramen Adds Dinner Service, Extends Menu
A new redesign further enhances the izakaya-esque ambience.
Image courtesy of Itani Ramen
Starting yesterday, Uptown Oakland noodlery Itani Ramen has just switched to full table service at dinner.
“Most of our guests have a limited amount of time during lunch," said owner-executive chef Kyle Itani.
The new dinner service, featuring a complete waitstaff, "works great for those who have come to know and trust in a quick, delicious meal, either at the restaurant or for takeout.”
An expanded izakaya-style menu offers an increased selection of appetizers and smaller, share-able plates, which can precede ramen or donburi rice bowls.
New dishes include gindara hobayaki (miso black cod grilled on a magnolia leaf), "Cucumbers 'n’ Kimchi," house-made gyoza, and crispy pig ears. September's selection on the ever-changing ramen rotation will be a take on Okinawa’s Soki Soba, a pork-rib broth with thick chewy noodles.
“We are building on what has worked well for us and responding to the overall popularity of what guests have loved at the restaurant,” Itani said.
The restaurant's design has changed too, making it more closely resemble a classic izakaya -- Japan's version of the cozy local pub. A newly revealed façade features large wood-slatted windows and bright orange trim on the doors. Wooden-slat screens frame the restaurant's inner entrance, topped with a traditional cloth noren-curtain. The Japanese touches blend with the building's original details such as a raw terrazzo floor and 1930s columns.
This fall, Itani Ramen will have a full liquor license and will expand its bar program to complement the current selection of sake and shochu.
“We’re thankful for the support from the local community and our regulars," Itani said.
"Now, over a year in, we’ve been able to get to know what locals and visitors want and we’re addressing those things with the updates we’ve made to the restaurant.”