Tokyo's Afuri Ramen + Dumpling, famed in Japan for its yuzu shio ramen, is opening a new location in downtown Mountain View.
A sign for Afuri is now hanging above the entrance to 124 Castro St. This space has seen numerous restaurants turn over in recent years, including Crawfish Bros, Chop & Pub, East Street Tapas, East Street Tacos and Shell Shock.
Afuri's signature yuzu shio ramen, served with bamboo shoots, egg, chashu pork, endive, fried garlic and nori. Photo courtesy Afuri Ramen.
Afuri opened its first California location in Cupertino last fall.
Afuri started in 2003 as a single ramen shop at the base of Mount Afuri in Japan. Founder Hiroto Nakamura took inspiration from the pristine water that flowed down the mountain (it was considered a sacred place where people prayed for a good harvest) and served a light, clear broth, rather than the rich and cloudy tonkotsu style. Afuri's chicken broth is slow cooked, never boiled, with "natural" umami (no MSG) from niboshi (dried sardines), bonito flakes, kombu and vegetables.
Afuri eventually expanded throughout Japan and arrived in the United States in 2016 with a location in Portland, Oregon.
The Afuri Ramen + Dumpling menu centers around the yuzu shio ramen but also includes several other kinds of ramen (including a vegan broth made from hazelnuts), gyoza, gohan (rice with toppings like karaage, chashu pork, bamboo shoots, slow-cooked egg and togarashi) and small plates. During the coronavirus shutdown, the Cupertino restaurant also started offering meal kits with all the ingredients necessary to make Afuri's ramen at home as well as cocktail kits.
There's no opening date set yet for Afuri Mountain View, according to the company.
Elsewhere in local ramen news: Shalala Ramen closed permanently this week after 10 years in Mountain View; San Francisco's Marufuku Ramen is opening today, Oct. 27, in downtown Redwood City; and Los Angeles' Silverlake Ramen is supposed to open an outpost in Santa Clara this year.