Mission District meets Japan

The Mission district in San Francisco continues to grow and develop as destination for food, art and design.
Architect Craig Steely has recently completed a ramen bar that was inspired by the complex mix of street culture found in the Mission District and also the traditional Japanese values found in ramen shops in Japan.

The existing street façade was demolished and pushed 12 ft. into the space, creating an interstitial room or engawa in the space between sidewalk and interior. In this space a carefully selected 4000 lb. Yuba River basalt rock commands the central spot. The new storefront of Sakura wood allows the bar and seating to wind through it—letting diners eat and drink both indoors and out.
The interior is arranged around the open kitchen with ramen soup pots boiling day and night behind floor to ceiling glass walls. Handles and brackets throughout the space are made of elm branches by local craftsman and artist Kenji Hasegawa. The stool seating is a riff on traditional sake barrels while the tables are painted in Japanese tattoo style depicting traditional Japanese myths and Yakuza movie mash-ups along with a dragon made of ramen, with eyes of soft boiled eggs and a tongue of chashu pork, it’s whipping tail spelling “Orenchi” in Hiragana letters.

All photos © Craig Steely Architecture