Thanks to SFoodie contributor Luis Chong for figuring out that pop-up maverick Ken Ken Ramen returns to the Mission tomorrow night for a beta-launch reappearance at its new Thursday location: The Corner.
In July, Ken Ken partners Robert Patterson, Stefan Roesch, and Kenji Miyazaki began popping up Mondays at Panchita's #3 on 22nd Street in the Mission, an arrangement that ended in September after a landlord dispute. [For a taste of the original Ken Ken at Panchita's, check out Luis Chong's review.] Ken Ken's return isn't without changes. First, Miyazaki has decided to stay on the sidelines for now ― he's still on good terms with the partners, Patterson tells SFoodie, and he could decide to come back any time. Until he does, Taka Hori will stand in as Ken Ken's ramen master (he'll continue on as sushi chef at Rocketfish).
Other changes: Ken Ken's dropping the vegetarian ramen temporarily (it might even be back as soon as next time), and adding shio ramen to its previous roster of shoyu, miso, and spicy miso. "Some people wanted corn with the miso, maybe even a stronger miso taste," Patterson says. Add instead of the shredded pork that was Ken Ken's signature, tomorrow they'll go with a more traditional chasu. "Taka Hori is from Fukuoka, in the south of Japan," Patterson explains. "That's where tonkotsu base comes from."
One thing Patterson hopes doesn't happen tomorrow at The Corner: A reprise of the frenzy that turned one of Hapa Ramen's early pop-ups into a nightmare. "I just ask people to know we're just having fun with the ramen tomorrow night," Patterson says. "And if we're slow, to understand." Seating begins at 5:30.
Ken Ken Ramen at The Corner: 2199 Mission (at 18th St.). Thu. nights (except Thanksgiving), starting at 5:30 p.m.