KenKen Ramen is a pop up hosted at The Corner at Mission and 18th St – right down the street from Lung Shang, which became host to one of the first pop-ups in the neighborhood. Owner Takahiro Hori and his assistant Ryoji Kijikawa are from Fukuoka, Japan. The very friendly Toshiko Yamada manages the front end hails from the countryside of Kagoshima. Takahiro liked making Ramen during his college years – one thing led to another, and now he makes it for the Mission, two days a week.

The broth was rich but not overpowering. The elements – slow cooked egg, baby corn, bok choi, bamboo shoots and sliced pork tenderloin – each had their own savory flavor.  The flavors were subtle and unpretentious.

“I want to keep my menu simple,” says owner Takahiro Hori. “That is my secret.” When I finished my bowl of Miso Ramen I realized that the dish was anything but simple.

Then it hit me. Takahiro was probably thinking shibui which is the Japanese word describing the particular aesthetic of simple, subtle, and unobtrusive beauty. KenKen has shibui to spare.

KenKen Ramen
The Corner
2199 Mission St
Thurs and Sun 12 pm – 3 pm
Thus and Sun 6 pm – 10 pm

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George Lipp has long lived in the Mission. He’s our volunteer extraordinaire – always out taking photos or running across crimes in progress.

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