Chef Ken Tominaga and Michael Mina Open PABU and Ramen Market at San Francisco's 101 California Building
September 6, 2013 - SAN FRANCISCO, CA
SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - September 06, 2013) - Bay Area Chef Ken Tominaga and restaurateur Michael Mina are set to open the second location of their highly-successful partnership, PABU right here at home in San Francisco. Additionally, they are thrilled to announce the launch of a Ramen Market that will share the space at 101 California. After years of exploring the ideal San Francisco space and project to collaborate on together, the partners discovered the perfect site at 101 California, a Platinum-LEED certified and internationally-recognized green building with a rare glass and atrium area focused on plants and vegetation. Mina has known 101 California as a neighbor for many years, and Tominaga fell in love with the space immediately. They will take full advantage of the picturesque and natural indoor and outdoor setting to grow their own downtown herb and vegetable garden. These freshly-grown products will be utilized in both PABU and Ramen Market's seasonally-focused menus.
Chef and Partner, Ken Tominaga is a Bay Area resident, Tokyo native and alumnus of Tokyo's acclaimed Akasaka Cooking School. Tominaga will oversee the menus at both PABU and Ramen Market and will continue to marry his 20-plus years of exposure and expertise of incorporating Northern California ingredients with Japanese products and technique. Back in 1990, Tominaga opened Hana Japanese Restaurant in Rohnert Park and the restaurant is still known as "one of the best restaurants in all of Sonoma County" (San Francisco Chronicle), with a cult following among fellow chefs and the local restaurant industry. Mina originally met Tominaga thirteen years ago, when visiting Hana Japanese Restaurant per a recommendation from one of Mina's chefs. Given that Tominaga is best known for striving for perfection, it was not long before Mina and his family became regulars at Tominaga's restaurant and the chefs soon developed a mutual admiration for one another's craft. Both chefs have had their eye on the perfect location for this Japanese venture and while the opportunity first arose in Baltimore at the Four Seasons, San Francisco had always been the ideal market for both PABU and Ramen Market.
Tominaga explains why "Japanese food has always been a great passion of mine, it showcases the highest standards of ingredients, technique and quality. I believe that the best ramen relies on a simple menu, the highest standards, the best products, and the perfect balance of sweet, salt, sour and umami. I am very excited to be bringing this authentic Japanese experience to San Francisco, in our own backyard."
The partnership comes at a timely point for Mina, "I have been very fortunate, and at this stage in my career the most rewarding opportunity is to build partnerships with chefs like Ken that need and deserve a showcase that this opening will create. It is a privilege to partner with somebody who has done this all his life and know that both my team and myself can learn so much from Ken. In return, we can hopefully bring what we are good at and create a marriage of food that we both love. Both Ken and I share the same vision, not just for food, but our commitment to treat guests with friendliness and creating a sense of comfort in all of our restaurants," says Mina.
PABU, an upscale, modern izakaya and sushi bar will cater to the sophisticated palates of San Francisco patrons, offering authentic, and high-caliber Japanese cuisine in an urban, sophisticated setting. PABU will feature a contemporary take on traditional Japanese dining options including a sushi bar, izakaya, robata grill, and rice, noodle, and soup dishes. There will also be a newly introduced shabu shabu program with several unique elements. The sushi bar will feature the finest locally and globally sourced seafood available including fish flown in from Japan's famed Tsukiji Market. The curated beverage selection will deliver an extensive offering of premium and super premium sakes, a curated assortment of Japanese beers, and boutique wines from around the world. PABU will celebrate Japan's love of whisky by crafting a cocktail program featuring this and other exclusive spirits. The bar menu will feature easily shared bites along with a happy hour program.
Ramen Market will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and the location will cater to busy professionals who want a quick, clean, satisfying meal created with first-rate ingredients at an affordable price point. There will be both a take-out and dine-in option. Additionally, there will be an adjoining culinary market selling hand-select, authentic Japanese products and ingredients ranging from tea and sake, to spices and sauces. Ramen Market's menu will include Japanese breakfast favorites along with made-to order juices and a premier tea and coffee program presented by LAMILL COFFEE. The ramen menu will offer guests the ability to create and customize their own bowls as well as choosing from five of Chef Tominaga's signature bowls. Bowls will include fresh noodles, a choice of five to six homemade broths, proteins such as confit duck, braised chicken, and rotisserie meats, and an abundance of on site, freshly-grown vegetables and greens will be the focal point, distinguishing the menu from other neighborhood ramen shops. Customizable options include gluten free Japanese sweet potato noodles, low carb vegetable noodles, and robust salads created with hand-select greens and herbs from the resident garden.
The new openings at 101 California will present San Francisco diners with a level of dining parallel to a top-level Japanese restaurant at an approachable price point. Menus will highlight the stellar and accessible local products available here in our own backyard. In addition to 10,000 square feet of interior space, both restaurants will offer outdoor dining as well as private dining options in PABU. This financial district venue will bridge the gap between Mina Group's existing restaurants, RN74 and Michael Mina which are all within three blocks from one another.
About Mina Group
Mina Group Inc. is a San Francisco-based restaurant management company specializing in creating and operating high-quality, innovative restaurant concepts, led by Chef/Owner Michael Mina whose accolades include James Beard Foundation "Who's Who of Food & Beverage" inductee, Bon Appetit Chef of the Year, Food Arts Silver Spoon Award Winner, San Francisco Magazine Chef of the Year and Restaurateur of the Year by the International Food and Beverage Forum. Operating since 2002, Mina Group currently operates 18 restaurant properties, including multiple locations of MICHAEL MINA, BOURBON STEAK, and RN74.
About Ken Tominaga
Tokyo native and revered Chef/Owner Ken Tominaga of Hana Japanese Restaurant in Sonoma County has established himself as one of the Bay Area's leading Japanese restaurateurs. Tominaga continues to refine his cuisine while working from core principles: using only the highest quality, freshest fish and incorporating the best local produce.