The RakiRaki Ramen Legendary Cuisine
RakiRaki has been named time and time again the best ramen restaurants in San Diego.
Rakiraki Ramen & Tsukemen opened its doors in October of 2012 to its first location in the heart of Kearny Mesa in San Diego, California. Now with a second location in San Diego's Little Italy, Rakiraki specializes in serving authentic Japanese cuisine including curry, tsukemen, or dipping noodles, and specialty sushi rolls, but is best known for its great-tasting ramen.
From the ultra-chic wood exterior to the contemporary zinc-countertops and beautifully hung Japanese lanterns inside, the restaurant is transformed into a modern and rustic space featuring an open kitchen. Guests can sip on Japanese sake or a frosty cold beer while watching all the excitement as chefs prepare each bowl of ramen “aburi” style, carefully adding fresh toppings flame-blistered to perfection.
Using the healthiest and freshest ingredients served in every artfully presented plate or bowl of noodles, the restaurant embodies owner and executive chef Junya Watanabe’s commitment to making Rakiraki the hottest ramen spot in town.
Chef & Owner
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Junya Watanabe is the owner and executive chef of Rakiraki Ramen & Tsukemen in San Diego, California. Watanabe came to the United States as a teen and pursued his education at UCLA where he received a Master’s degree in Economics. Watanabe always held a keen interest in the culinary arts and had frequent cravings for ramen. After noticing that this staple Japanese dish could become a popular trend in the states, Watanabe broke into the culinary world to pursue his passion for ramen and Japanese cuisine.
Spending over six years dedicated to learning the basics of cooking, Watanabe quickly established himself as a devoted student in the culinary arts. He flew back to Japan and spent several months shadowing three of Japan's most notable ramen chefs, learning about the importance of fresh ingredients and how to fuse them together to make a distinct bowl of ramen. Since then, Watanabe has added his own signature touch to original ramen recipes along with other Japanese style foods such as curry and tsukemen. After years of apprenticeship, Watanabe brought his vision into fruition as Rakiraki Ramen & Tsukemen opened in October 2012.
“Ramen has to be made with passion,” says Watanabe. From the meticulous detail he puts into prepping and cooking, his passion goes into every aspect of the way he runs the kitchen. During the day, you’ll find Watanabe experimenting with new and old recipes while catching up with the latest food trends. In the evenings, you’ll find him standing behind Rakiraki’s open kitchen, wearing his signature chef's jacket while meticulously adding flame-blistered toppings to each bowl of ramen.