By Emma Krasov, photography by Yuri Krasov
Kirimachi is a pop-up restaurant in the North Beach, identified by a red paper lantern by its entrance. It follows the popular trend brought to life by sparse economy, space limitations inherent to the City by the Bay, and – the undying entrepreneurship of its dwellers.
With the advent of creative eateries popping up in other restaurants’ legitimate spaces on their days off, San Francisco diners found themselves enticed by some excellent food choices at reasonable prices in heavily populated walkable neighborhoods. Kirimachi is one of those places that quickly become popular with the locals and attract their clientele with a special, comforting twist on a well-known culinary classic.
Born in Indonesia, French-trained in Switzerland, and focused on the popular food of Japan, the Kirimachi proprietor Leonardi Gondoputro redefined and lightened the traditional versions of ramen, creating his own chicken-based Sapporo style miso, pork-based Tonkotsu, soy-sauce flavored shoyu, and vegetarian miso broths.
On most evenings, Leonardi works as a host, server, busser, and cashier, while and his cook, Roman Camara is meticulously garnishing every single bowl of flavorful ramen with shredded pork, Chinese chives, strips of Kikurage mushrooms, bean sprouts, colorful fish cake, and a soft boiled soy-dipped egg.
There are some other dishes on the menu, like two kinds of cold ramen and Gyu Donburi – beef and onion stew over rice, and an array of extra toppings, including homemade cucumber kimchi and roasted seasoned nori.
The two dining areas at Kirimachi are small, clean, and cozy, but the tables are perfectly spaced, so you don’t feel crowded or unwillingly overhearing other people’s conversations. Groups, couples, and lone diners feel equally comfortable here. High ceilings with bright red beams overhead create an ambience of casual elegance.
The restaurant serves non-alcoholic drinks, like tea, coke, and sparkling water, and accepts cash only.
Kirimachi is located at 450 Broadway (look for the lantern) and is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday and Saturday, 12:00 pm-2:30 pm and 6:00 pm-9:00 pm. On Fridays, you can find them at Ft. Mason’s Off the Grid from 5:00 pm-10:00 pm. Closed Sunday. More information at: www.kirimachi.com.
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