The RakiRaki Ramen Legendary Cuisine
Since opening in 2012, RakiRaki Ramen & Tsukemen has been recognized time and again as the best ramen in San Diego.
With its original location in the heart of Kearny Mesa, the epicenter of San Diego’s thriving Asian food scene, the lines out the door are worth the wait for Chef/owner, Junya Watanabe’s signature ramen recipes that blend the art of traditional ramen making with the highest quality ingredients available and a modern atmosphere.
RakiRaki serves a wide variety of ramen dishes and authentic Japanese cuisine including tsukemen (dipping noodles), charcoal-fired yakitori, curry, ramen burgers, and specialty sushi rolls along with local craft beer and sake selections.
The original location on Convoy Street features an open kitchen concept, allowing guests to view the action. Mixed architectural details such as reclaimed wood, contemporary zinc-countertops, and oversized Japanese lanterns set the tone for a dining experience rooted in tradition, but with a modern vibe. Guests can sip sake or a cold beer while watching all the excitement as chefs prepare each bowl of ramen “aburi” style, carefully adding fresh toppings flame-blistered to perfection.
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.
CHEF & OWNER
“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.